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Book ^ 















/2 1(^ 



210 & 212 Pine Street. 



Bbtised Edition Copyrighted, 1880. 

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1880, by 

In the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington. 


The principal object of this book (although this is not the only 
purpose it answers, for it conveys to the reader a vast amount of 
information the most interesting and important) is to simplify as 
much as possible the subject of the Creator and the Cosmos. To have 
this done thoroughly and accurately is a work of great magnitude 
and gravity for the author, of great importance and consequence to 
the reader, and an accomplishment very much desired and to be desir- 
ed by all lovers of the truth concerning this most stupendous and 
interesting of all subjects. 

In our day and country the demand for literature is almost all for 
the lighter, or, comparatively speaking, trashier kinds, and the book 
got up designedly to please the ey-i and to satisfy the morbid fancy 
is the kind of book of which mucii the greatest number of copies is 
expected to be sold. Publishers, having some experience of this, 
rather incline to push the sale of works of the lighter kinds, which 
will sell on the railroad cars, in the news depots, and in those places 
of public resort, where works of the heavier kinds do not usually 
appear ; and they are in general more slow than evidently is for their 
interest and that of the public to push the sale of books on heavier 
subjects and more profitable for the masses, although they may see 
in them a great amount of merit and use, and a desideratum the want 
of which has long been felt by an exceedingly large class of reflecting 
and thoughtful minds — the class that is not only incomparablj' 
the most intelligent but the most respectable and trustworthy as men 
of moral principle, and that will see fit to stand by a publisher if he 
honestly and industriously attends to his duties in the prosecution of 
his business. 

Now, I know, by a sufficiently wide experience, that in every com- 
munity there is a certain number of reflecting and thoughtful minds, 
a number indeed usually proportionate to the number of inhabitants 
in the place — and these persons are not at all content unless they 
know the reasons of things, and have as thorough a knowledge as in 
their circumstances they can have of the subjects in which they are 
interested, well knowing that the superiority Avhich arises from 
education and knowledge, especially when this is joined to rectitude 
of moral character, is the only true siiperiority, and that no one, it 
matters not what or how affluent as to circumstances he may other- 


wise be, has a right to regard another as his inferior who is as \\ ell 
educated on the most important subjects, has as thorough a knowledge, 
and is as good a man morally as he himself. Men are not accustomed 
to have much respect for those whom they know are much inferior 
to themselves in education and knowledge ; no matter how much 
material wealth the latter may possess they are likely to undergo 
the tacit criticism, and estimation in the balance of the cultivated 
mind, and this very thought should incite those of sober judgment, 
old and young, to acquire, and as much as possible attain, to that 
which is the only true index and means of equality with the best. 

Nor does our judgment tell us that publishers should neglect the 
duty and moral obligation of furnishing to that large class afore- 
mentioned the books and the knowledge they so much desire, even 
if this be done at the expense of the publication of many of the lighter 
kinds of books. The country is overstocked with this latter class of 
books : it is high time that this fever of morbid mental excitement 
should be stilled ; and that the popular mind should be directed as 
much as possible to more serious and profitable subjects. To thin^- 
the being slow to push the sale of a non-partizan or non-sectarian 
work would assist a publislier in the estimation of any individual or 
party, who may have their money or other interests wrapped up in 
sect or system of an}^ kind, would we are persuaded, be a great mis- 
take for a publisher to make. Such men are, for the most part, not 
al all adverse to a publisher attending to his duties and pushing his 
business with all his might ; nor is it right they should, since a 
publisher's duties in the way of the circulation of books extends to 
all classes, and his business is very general ; he has therefore a per- 
fect right to push his business independently as others have to push 
theirs; liis right will always, too, be unquestioned ; and where he is 
circulating a much needed and useful book as this present one; is, and 
that for all classes, he has really a right to the assistance and sympathy 
of all good men and women. 

The works already in print upon the subject of Christian Theology 
are, as is well known, for the most part merely systems of ideas 
elaborated from the mind or imagination of their authors. These 
latter have been men mostly of European education, trained up in 
certain modes of thought, and to the unhesitating belief of certain 
creeds or confessions of faith, and who in their writing took, eve7-i/ 
time, as a basis for their theological arguments, an hypothesis, that 
is, an assumption without internal examination of the literal truth 
of the S vipiures, and in this way gave to these records chronologi- 
call)" and otherwise what interpretation they please 1. Men of 
American education, and of the, as far as possible, positive American 


conception are generally not satisfied to pin their faith to the 
hypothesis, patched up or respectable, of any theorician, they are 
not content to do it without examination and demonstration of their 
own, so far as they can attain to this. 

Such systems of theology as those referred to have, for long ages 
before the settlement of America by the whites, stopped the march of 
progress, and brought about that the masses of the people were in 
effect the chattels of the learned and raling classes, who always, we 
find, made it convenient to join fortunes with each other in the 
narrow national confines of the old world. If our people see fit to 
judge for themselves on .religious matters our laws afford them the 
right to do so ; and our wide country affords them room to do all the 
good they possibly can in the development of their principles, pro- 
vided their education and God-given light has enabled them to do so. 

We do not at all dispute but that men of European education and 
habits of thought have a right, if they wish, to produce theological 
books, and to weave into them all the kingly and priestly ideas both 
of ancient and modern caste which they can evolve. " What we 
intimate is that we have a right also to treat theology in our own 
way and according to our own simple republican habits of thought ; 
and we doubt not but that our rights as well as our books will be 
appreciated by men of European education among others, judging 
partly from the ready sale met with by the second edition of oui 
work, " Existence and Deity." 

So far as the Scriptures are treated of in this book, which they are 
largely in the Second Part, they are not either discarded or per- 
verted, but they are rendered intelligible. The subject of the Creator 
it treats as that subject really is, namely, as that the Creator is Om- 
nipresent, his character being illustrated by his works of creation ; 
but though Omnipresent the Creator is shown to be Infinite as exist- 
ence and being Infinite not conceivable by man's mind nor to be 
seen by his eyes. 

Part First treats of Existence in its various conditions, phases, 
and aspects, — Physical, Spiritual, and Moral, — and illustrates 
variously the subject of the cosmos and the character of the Omni- 
present and Infinite Deity. The Moral and Religious world is 
illustrated from History, Civil and Religious. 

In using the sciences for illustration in this First Part of the 
work, more especially Astronomy, we found it both necessary and 
most to the purpose to set forth the science itself with its deductions 
and discoveries hitherto which Avill be much more beneficial and 
satisfactory to the readers than the statement of isolated facts and 
ideas derived from that science, its deductions and discoveries. 


Besides, we have treated of the scenery of the heavens as viewed 
from the planets and their satellites, a demonstration which is no 
more vague than are the practical parts in common Astronomy, and 
which makes the subject as here presented far more interesting than 
as set forth in the common treatises on that science, and exhibits the 
power, wisdom, and glory of the Deity as set forth in the scenes of 
existence in a peculiarly interesting light. The Astionomy, con- 
sidering the way in which it is treated here, and the labor which has 
been expended in the demonstration of the scenery of the Heavens, 
I would consider worth, of itself, the price of the book. 

The subject of the Creator, — infinite existence and of creation, — is 
variously illustrated in Part First. Mystery, the prolific Mother of 
Superstition, is removed in Part Second ; we have endeavored to 
have the true light shine out on every page, and we trust that they 
who obtain this book or may obtain it will see the inexcusableness 
as well as unreasonableness of longer remaining enslaved to error, 
idolatry, or any other evil practices : all of which we trust they will 
for their own highest interest and for the honor of their Righteous 
and Holy God henceforth discard and eschew. 

To such as might be disposed to look upon this book with an ey& 
of criticism, as those only competent by learning could be supposed 
to do, we may remark that the work consisting of two parts is one of 
design, neither part being complete without the other, and that it ia 
better to read the whole through carefully in order that the subject 
maybe as fully as possible understood. We think however, it would 
be better to read it with a sober, and, in most parts, with a prayerful 
spirit rather than in the spirit of criticism and captiousness and thus 
to profit hj the information it may afford. 

It will be well to remember that in the mathematical parts of 
this volume the English system of Notation is followed, which, where 
large numbers are dealt with, is considered to have more power than 
the French sj^stem. The latter system is the one generally followed 
in this country, and which the author has followed in his Arithmetic. 

The Revision. 

The revision of this First Part of "Creator and Cosmos" has 
been executed with care and thoroughness, and with liie intention 
that it shall serve as a reliable book of reference both as to tacts 
and figures. 




Existence, Physical, Spiritual, and Moral, illustrated from 
various sources in the physical and moral world, as 
from the animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms 
of the earth, the earth itself, — the probable per- 
manency of the Cosmos as to phenomena of forms, 
changes, &c., being to some extent here demon- 
strated — a,nd from the civil and religious history 
and the observation of mankind 9-154 

The Creator : Creation, the Earth's elemental conditions 

of existence, matter and spirit literally defined, etc., 9-51 

Some Terrestrial climatal conditions and peculiarities 
.noticed, as well as illustrations from the noxious 
and innoxious portions of the animal and vegetable 
kingdoms 51-60 

Illustrations from the character and practices of the 
races of mankind world-wide, distinctive of the 
moral world 60-154 

First, from the savage and semi-civilized races 60-73 

Second, illustrations from the nations called civilized from 
the earliest historic times, especially in their secu- 
lar or civil aspect 75-115 

Third, illustrations from the nations called civilized, 
especially in their religious aspect, and from early 
times : First, from the history of the Catholic 

Church of the Roman Empire ' 115-143 

Second, from the history and observation of Pro- 
testantism , . . . . 143-154 

Other Things, which tend to illustrate further (or as far 
as our finite knowledge can carry us) the probable 
permanency of the Cosmos or of the order of nature 
and man in the main as now existing ; under which 
head are illustrations from Natural History,Geology, 
Antiquarian Research, Biology, or Embryology, &c. 154-211 

A CONTEMPLATION of other Scenes and objects of nature in- 
tended to further enlighten us and to exalt our con- 
ceptions of the character of the Deity, under which 
head is illustrated the infinity of ideas which existed 
eternally in the Creator's mind from a consideration 
of the diversified display of created objects in the ani- 
mal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms of the earth. 211-236 

On Crystallization, its varieties, &c 236-242 

On Light, the Prism, the Spectrum, Specti'al Analysis, &c. 242-261 
The Rainbow ^ 261-267 

On Colors, and other effects of Light 267-272 

Complementary, or Accidental colors 272-281 



On AsTEONOjsrr, preliminary explanations, proofs of the 
earth's rotuudit}-, diurnal motions ; circles, degrees, 
&c. ; the horizon, eclijjses, conjunction and opposi- 
tion, annual motion, phenomena arising from the 

earth's motion 281-313 

The Sun 313-320 

The Planet Vulcan 320-321 

The Planet Mercury; appearance of the Heavens as 

viewed from Mercury 321-324 

The Planet Venus ; appearance of the Heavens as 

viewed from Venus 324r-330 

The Earth, its motions, its magnitude, its celestial phe- 
nomena, its siderial and solar day and year, &c. . . 330-338 
The Moon; appearance of the Heavens as viewed fa-om 

the Moon 338-352 

The Planet Mars ; appearance of the Heavens as viewed 

from Mars 352-356 

The Minor Planets or Asteroids ; the Heavens as 

viewed from the Minor Planets 356-858 

The Planet Jupiter and his Satellites ; the Heavens as 

viewed from the Satellites and from Jupiter 358-364 

The Planet Saturn, his Satellites and Rings ; some 
phenomena of the Satellites as viewed from the sur- 
face of Saturn, d-escription of the Rings, and scenery 
of the Heavens as viewed from Saturn, his Satellites 

and Rings 364-377 

The Planet Uranus and his Satellites ; the Heavens as 

ihej appear from Uranus 377-381 

The Planet Neptune; the Heavens as viewed from Nep- 
tune 381-387 

The Attraction of Gravitation explained 387-389 

Kepler the discoverer of the proper motions of Existence 

and his Laws 389-391 

Sir Isaac Newton, the discoverer of the modes of exis- 
tence and his Deductions 391-395 

The Tldes explained 395-398 

On Co^iets 398-406 

Shooting Stars ; Meteorites , . . . . 406-412 

The Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights ; the 

Mariner's Lights 412-414 

The Fixed Stars ; double Stars ; colored and variable 
Stars — as to the mode of classification of the 
Stars into magnitudes, &c., as to the motions and 
position in space of the Sun and the Solar System 

— temporary Stars 414-426 

Clusters and Nebulae, vaiiable Nebulas 426-435 

The Nebular Hypothesis 435-436 

Sketch of the History of Astronomy 436-449 

Conclusion of Part First 449-453 

Is Science ReconcilablS WITH Religion? 453-472 




Tlie Creator: Creation, the Earth's elemental conditions of exist- 
ence, Matter and Spirit literally defined, etc. 

WHEN we speak of the Creator we mean that Being whose 
presence is everywhere, who has created all things that have 
been created in the physical universe, and in whom we live and move. 
When we speak of the Creator being everywhere present, which 
means in every conceivable or inconceivable place in the universe, 
we do not mean to say that He is visible to the eye or can be con- 
ceived by the mind of man.* The Creator is infinite, and an Infinite 
Being cannot be conceived by the mind, much less seen by the eye 
of sense. True, we see creation around us, but we are to remember 
that creation stands in the same relation to the Creator as the effect 
does to the cause which produces it. And we shall show further on, 
how that we could not distinguish one object from another were it 
not for the intervention of the colors of light; and we are aware we 
could not see anything at all were it not for light itself. Also, when 
we speak of the Creator being infinite, and everywhere present, we 
mean that there exists but one such Being, for more than one Omni- 
present Being there cannot be. But, though the Creator cannot be 
seen by the eye nor conceived by the mind, yet since His agency pro- 

* In our conceptions concerning the Creator we cannot conceive of him as anytliing, altliougli 
He is present, everywhere, in the eartli and in oui'selves, creating in us to will and to do of His 
good pleasure. Being infinite, He is not conceivable as any object or thing, but of His character 
we have a limited conception, from the endless diversity of His creations and operations in the 
physical and moral world. 



duces all the effects that are produced in the natural world, His 
character may be understood and appreciated from a consideration of 
His works, just as the character of an artificer can be judged of from 
a consideration of the work he executes, or the strength of an animal 
from the power it exerts. 

By Creation we mean the efiects produced by the omnipresent 
and everacting Cause for and in the universe.* The effects we 
have principally to illustrate in this connection are of two kinds : 
j^rst, that unceasing change we see ordinarily taking place in nature 
by growth and decay, also termed transformation of matter ; 
and, secondly, change of place by motion, as that of the earth 
in its journey round the sun. The first kind of change, or 
transformation of matter, according to the ordinary operations of 
nature, is that only which we denominate creation, being effected 
by the Creator; the second kind of change, or change of place by 
motion, although effected by the Creator, yet is not creation, since it 
effects no transformation of matter, but only a presentation of the 
same thing in a different place, or after a certain period in the same 
place again. Change of place by motion will be fully illustrated 
when we come to speak on astronomy. There are yet other kinds of 
change which pertain especially to man as a free, intelligent actor, 
and which we shall also illustrate in their proper place, when speak- 
ing of the moral world, or that world which exists with special 
reference to man. 

Change, by transformation of matter, may be illustrated from 
numberless sources by ordinary observation. Thus, a flower which 
begins to grow in the spring, and blooms in the summer, since it did 
not exist before, is a creation. The species of vegetable to which the 
flower belongs had before existed ; the seed from which the flower 
sprung had previously existed ; the flower is the effect of change of 
matter : it had not existed before as a flower ; it is created. And it 
may be here observed that no change or combination of matter could 
produce that flower, or any other particular plant, except the seed of 
that flower or plant existed before to give it birth. Take, for illus- 
tration of the property of seeds, the grain of wheat ; it puts forth the 
blade in the Fall or Spring, which gradually grows till it comes to 
maturity as a full ear in the Autumn. This ear of corn did not exist 
before ; the species of vegetable to which it belongs existed before ; 
the kernel in which it was germinated and which gave it birth pre- 
viously existed ; (and we may remark in passing that the young 

* This general idea of creation refers to all the objects created on and in the earth, on and 
in each of the heavenly bodies, or in any part of space, as well as to the earth and each of the 
heavenly bodies themselves, inasmuch as they, analogously to the human body while living, 
are continually and wholly subject to change, and are in this sense objects of creation. 


as to its primal essence exists in the seed, and that the process of 
sprouting takes place in the seed itself, independently of the aid of the 
earth, as may be observed in the case of barley or other grain sprouting 
when moistened and subjected to heat for some time in the process 
of malting) ; this ear of wheat, we say, since itself did not exist before, 
is a creation. The seed, therefore, must exist before the plant, and 
every seeds brings forth after its own kind. If a seed of wheat is 
sown an ear of wheat will result from it, if anything do result, and 
not an ear of rye or of any other species of grain ; and an oak tree is 
sure to result, if anything do grow, from the acorn. 

This property of seeds is true of all animals as well as plants. 
When a child is born, or the young of any animal is brought forth, 
it is a creation. This organized being has not before existed, though 
its substance and life have never not existed. When the trunk of a 
fallen tree or the body of a dead animal becomes mineralized or petri- 
fied, this mineral or petrifaction is a creation, the component parts 
of the original form combining with certain other elementary sub- 
stances, a new form or species of being is produced. 

Also, if it be understood that the matter of the earth assumed or 
was given its present form, from its having previously existed in 
another form, say in an aeriform or nebular, state, then that change 
of the matter into the form of the earth would be properly termed a 
creation, although such a creation, we may say, can be spoken of 
only hypothetically.* 

It is seen that on the surface of the earth, and for a short dis- 
tance below it, all things are continually changing ; one form of 
matter is continually taking the place of another in existences ani- 
mate and inanimate. Animal and vegetable remains are changed 
into clay, and rocks, and water; and these again enter into the pro- 
duction and support, and compose the solid frame-work of the 
organic structures of vegetables and animals. .When the living or 
animate body dies it does not cease to exist, for there is no such 
thing as annihilation. True, if it be a human being that dies, that 
human being ceases to exist as an organized conscious agent, but the 
bo9.y retains the principle of life, which descends with it to the 
tomb. Death is only a sleep or a state of unconsciousness of the 
body previous to its change into other organic or inorganic exist- 
ences. Thus, the chrysalis state of the caterpillar, in which that 
creature remains to all appearance dead, has been often and aptly 
compared to the state of the dead of the human I'ace. But what 
happens to the caterpillar? At the end of a month he comes forth 
from his tomb having gorgeously tinted wings, and soars on high, a 
beautiful butterfly. We have yet to learn whether in his new and 

* A primal creation of mutter and space, of forms and motions, of vegetables and ani- 
mals, &c., is goiieially and tacitly granted to theology. It is "byfailh" St. Paul accepts it. 
Heb. xi., 3. We discuss ratlier the actual creation, effected by and through "Him in whom 
we live and move." 


exalted state of existence he remembers his former humble condition 
of a caterpillar. We may, however, presume that he does not. 

The animate body dies because some one or some of its organs or 
faculties cease to perform their ordinary functions, just as a mill 
ceases to operate when a wheel or a cog is broken, or any of the in- 
ternal machinery is deranged or out of gear. And, as the mill ceases 
to operate when deprived of sufficient motive power, as wind, water 
or steam, so does a human being die when he has not a sufficienc}'- of 
air to breathe, of water to drink, or of food to eat. A man will also 
die if he have only a limited quantity of air to breathe, and this 
impregnated with noxious gases, as was the case with that great 
number that perished from suffocation in the " Black Hole of Cal- 
cutta " in 17-56, and is the case with hundreds who are suffocated in 
coal mines, in our own time. 

The wind-mill, when in working order, depends upon the same 
agencies to enable it to operate as a man does who has a sound con- 
stitution ; they both depend upon the atmosphere ; and reason, 
assisted by the atmospheric agent, directs the operations of the mill 
in both cases. In like manner a water-mill depends upon the same 
agency to enable it to operate as a man does, both, as before, being 
supposed sound in their internal machiner}', depend upon a suffi- 
ciency of water being furnished them ; if this be not in sufficient 
quantity to turn the large Avater-wheel, the mill ceases to grind : and 
if there be not a sufficient quantity of water for the requirements of 
the animal system, or if, as in the case of noxious air, the quantity 
that is in supply be deleterious, the man's body consumes and he 
dies. Here we may remark that water enters largely not only into 
the support, but into the constitution of the human body, seventy- 
five per cent, of all the fleshy parts being water. 

Also the steam-mill is analogous to the human body, both being 
sound in their internal parts, depending upon a sufficient quantity of 
steam being generated to enable them to perform their functions. 
The body, as the mill, has a furnace, the stomach, to which a suffi- 
cient amount of fuel, food, needs to be supplied, in order to keep up 
a sufficient degree of heat to sustain the combustion and decomposi- 
tion which are continually going on in it ; for by combustion and 
decomposition in the body there is a continual decay and waste of 
animal tissue, which decay and waste must be as constantly supplied 
by the intra-generation of new chemical compounds. The human 
body, therefore, is truly a kind of laboratory in which a chemical 
process is continuall}^ taking place, of decomposition or decay, of 
recomposition for the supply of animal tissue ; and, as it is said that 
no two persons see the same rainbow, so it may, with equal truth, 


be rfaid thac no human being has exactly the same body two days in 

And the human body is further, as is plainly perceived, analogous 
to the steam-mill, having its furnace, boilers, and complex machinery 
for generating heat and steam; for heat has to be generated in the 
body, and consequently steam in order that its functions may con- 
tinue to be performed. In breathing out of doors on a cold frosty 
morning, one can see from the condensation of his breath as com- 
pared with the surrounding air at every exhalation, what an amount 
of steam one generates. 

If the humaii body, therefore, as has been shown, is in every part 
continually unaergoing change during life, is it any wonder or any 
ground of apprehension that there shall be a more radical and per- 
manent change effected in it by death ; a change from which a new 
and nobler creation may arise ? Death, as Ave have before intimated, 
is only a loss of consciousness, and a cessation of action in the in- 
tellectual and sentient being. It is not a loss of life, for the body 
retains in every part the principle of life ; it is not a loss of exist- 
ence, for not a particle of the human system ceases to exist, but 
it is a change which the body must needs undergo previous to its 
being created anew into other forms of existence. 

There is no deatli ! The stars go down 

To rise upon some fairer shore, 
And briglit in lieaven's jewelled crown 

They shine for evermore. 
There is no death ! The dust we tread 

Shall change beneath the summer showers, 
To golden grain or mellow fruit. 

Or rainbow-tinted flowers. 
Tlie granite rocks disorganize, 

And feed the hungry moss they bear; 
The forest leaves drink daily life 

From out the viewless air. 
There is no death ! The leaves may fall. 

And flowers may fade and pass away — 
, They only wait througli wintry hours 

The coming of May day. 
There is no deatli ! An angel form 

Walks o'er the earth with silent tread. 
And bears our best loved things away, 

And then we call them " dead ! " 
He leaves our hearts all desolate ; 

He plucks our fairest, sweetest flowers ; 
Transplanted into bliss they now 

Adorn immortal bowers. 
The birdlike voice, whose joyous tones 

Made glad these scenes of sin and strife, 


Sings now an everlasting song 
Around the tree of life. 

Whene'er he sees a smile too bright, 

Or lieart too pure for taint and vice, 
He bears it to tlie world of liglit 

To dwell in paradise. 
Born to that undying life. 

They leave us but to come again ; 
With joy we welcomed tliem the same, 

Except their sin and pain. 
And ever near us, tliougli unseen. 

The dear, immortal spirits tread ; 
For all tlie boundless universe 

Is life — tliere is no death !* 

The principle of life is inherent in all matter and in every parti- 
cle of it : and in this part of onr discourse it may be well for ns 
to state that there is nothing but matter to be considered. The 
life seems latent in rocks, earths, minerals, and such like, but a mi- 
croscopic inspection of them will show that it is not entirely so. 
Every part of matter, even the solid rocks, the eartli, the waters and 
the air, when examined with a microscope, is found to teem with 
living and sensitive existence. This instrument discovers to view 
myriads of little animals in a drop of stagnant water, some of them 
so minute that when viewed with a glass which magnifies one hun 
dred thousand times, they severally do not appear larger than a vis- 
ible point. And yet each one of these is a distinct being. If a mi- 
croscope of high magnifying j)ower be directed to the atmosphere on 
a calm, clear day in summer, shoals of animalcules may be seen in 
its undulations. But according to our statement above, the exist- 
ence of life in matter does not depend upon its containing organized, 
sensitive beings, and the fact of its existence there may be illustrated 
by many and potent considerations. 

All vegetables derive their nourishment from the earth assisted 
by the atmosphere and the sun. From these, animals derive their 
nourishment. It is true that the earth cannot bring forth vegetables 
or animals spontaneous!}^ ; if it did, then we might say that they de- 
rived their existence immediately from the earth ; the'se must spring 
from their peculiar seeds ; but having been originated in that way, 
the earth and its accompaniments, the atmosphere and the sun, afford 
them increase of life and nourishment, which if matter did not con- 
tain it could not impart. All vegetables and their seeds return to 
the earth whence they sprung, bringing their principles of life and 
vegetation with them,v and become earthy matter. Also the bodies 
of all animals return to the earth, bringing their principles of life 
and generation with them, and become part of the earth. These 

* Lj-tton. 

f Further on the converse of this is shown, or that nothing exists in the universe but 
spirit. Having progressed far enough the reader will be able to judge whether the 
resultant be positive or negative, or both. 


very principles of vegetation, generation, and life, again enter into 
tlie production and support of other living beings, animate and in- 
animate. It is, therefore, seen that the same principle of life which 
exists in all living beings, animate and inanimate, exists in the earth, 
the atmosphere and the sun. 

And not only is the principle of life inherent in all matter but 
also that of intelligence. This principle is perceived, as it were, 
in its germ in the lowest orders of animals, and is brought to a fair 
degree of perfection in highly civilized and cultivated man. Be- 
tween these two extremes there exist different grades and degrees of 
intelligence, but the fact of the existence of this principle in all an- 
imate beings is certain, and it needs only to be edaced in order that 
it becomes apparent. But how is it to be educed in the case of the 
lowest orders of animals, microscopic animalcules ? It need not 
necessarily be educed in their case, for they naturally exhibit it un- 
mistakably to observation. The following extract from Mr. Baker, 
a celebrated naturalist, in his description of the hair-like animalcules, 
will help to illustrate this : — " A small quantity of the matter con- 
taining these animalcules having been put in a jar of water, it so 
happened that one part went down immediately to the bottom while 
the other continued floating on the top. When things had remained 
for some time in this condition each of these swarms of animalcules 
began to grow weary of its situation, and had a mind to change its 
quarters. Both armies, therefore, set out at the same time, the one 
proceeding upward, the other downward, so that after some time 
they met in the middle. A desire of knowing how they would behave 
on this occasion engaged the observer to watch them carefully, and, 
to his great surprise, he saw the army that was marching upward open 
to the right and left to make room for those that were descending. 
Thus, without confusion or intermixture, each held on its way; the 
army that was ascending marching in two columns to the top, and 
the other proceeding in one column to the bottom, as if each had 
been under the direction of wise leaders." Here we have unmis- 
takable evidence of voluntary motion and of a considerable degree 
of intelligence in these exceedingly minute animals. 

The ancient Romans appear to have been aware of the inherent 
existence of the principle of intelligence from their use of the word 
educare, to educate, which means to draw out or develop that which 
already exists in principle within.* Many of the inferior animals, 

* Loclce, in whose Essay there is much commendable, appears shallow in his argument 
against "innate ideas," and refutes himself partly in his confession of the Existence of God 
and of intelligent invisible spirits. First, we cannot conceive of man, as such, devoid of the 
"Senses;" secondly, the infinite and omnipresent Being is independent, and the source of all 
knowledge. He knows infinitely more than man can possibly conceive, and can cause ideas to 
spring up in the miud. 



when taught, display a remarkable degree of sagacity, and, although 
we need not necessarily believe what Cicero says as to Orpheus tam- 
ing the wild beasts of the forest by playing to them on his lyre, yet 
we now-a-days have abundant experience of what the domesticated 
animals, such as horses and dogs, and many of the wild animals, such 
as lions and tigers, can be taught to do. As the rough, unshapen 
block of granite or marble from the quarry may be formed into the 
stately and beautiful sculpture, so resembling the living and animate 
being as to deceive us if not assisted by the sense of touch; as the 
rough block of iron ore may, by being put through a certain process 
of fusing, hardening, mailing, etc., be reduced to the form of the 
sharp edged instrument, the sword, the knife, or the razor ; as the 
telescope, which so wonderfully opens up to us the distant regions 
of the universe, and enables us to contemplate far distant worlds, as 
if they were nigh; and the microscope which enables us to investi- 
gate the races of animated beings, invisible to the naked eye, which 
exist in the earth, in the air, and in all matter, are made chieflv of 
such earthy substance, as sand and ashes — even so may the intelli- 
gence of all the inferior animals which are capable of being taught be 
brought to a much higher degree of development than that which it 
has yet attained ; — even so may the intelligence of uncivilized human 
beings be brought to that state of development to which civilized 
man has alreadv attained ; and that of civilized man be brouo-ht to a 
degree indefinitely higher than that which we know of man to have 
yet attained. It is an old saying, and generally a true one, that 
what is in will come out ; but it is more positively true that what is . 
not in cannot come out ; therefore, if the principles of life or intelli- 
gence were not inherent in matter there could be no life or intelli- 
gence developed from matter ; but, since life and intelligence do exist 
and are developed amid such complex and multiplex changes of mat- 
ter, it is plain that the principles of life and intelligence do exist, 
though in different degrees, in all matter, and that in proper circum- 
stances they become apparent, and by proper development they be- 
come more apparent ; but that the fact of their non-apparency in cer- 
tain states and conditions of matter to an intelligent being does not 
alter the fact of their existence there in a latent state. 

Uneducated persons are apt to suppose that the air they breathe 
is the principle of life ; some, that it is the soul. This seems,to have 
been the conception of it entertained by the ancient Hebrews ; for 
the Nephesh Hayya of the book of Genesis is translated into our lan- 
guage the " breath of life " or the " soul of life," but the truth is, the 
air only helps to sustain the animate being in life ; it performs its 
part in supporting life, as food, the production of the earth, and 


water, — which two elements are quite as necessary for animal sup- 
port, — perform theirs. Air is the element which terrestrial animals 
breathe by means of lungs, just as water is the element which aquatic 
animals breathe by means of gills ; alter the condition of these two 
great classes of animate beings and they could not exist as animals ; 
submerge a land animal in water and it will very soon be suffocated ; 
elevate a marine animal to the land, and he will as soon die. All 
these animals are produced by their kind, but, having been intro- 
duced to the world, they are supported by the elements to which they 
are naturally adapted. Not less than all these elements are necessary 
for their sustenance. The various tribes of aquatic animals are sup- 
ported by different kinds of food which they find in the waters and 
on the bottom of the ocean, lakes and rivers, on rocks, etc. Many 
of these tribes, which correspond to the carnivorous species of the 
land, subsist by preying on other tribes ; but water is the element in 
which they all live, which they breathe, and from which mainly they 
derive their support, — for sea animals do not depend for support 
upon the land, their own realm supplying all their wants. We may 
remark here that a very small quantity of air pervades all water and 
a small quantity of water in the condition of vapor pervades the 
atmosphere ; and both these elements seem mutually to assist each 
other in the support of living beings, and to be adapted to each other's 

A man or any land animal may be in the enjoyment of an abun- 
dance of pure air and wholesome food, but if he have not a sufficient 
supply of water for his animal wants, he will die. Also, he may have 
an abundance of pure air and water, and, if he have not a sufficient 
supply of wholesome food, he will die. And, further, he may be 
furnished with a plenary abundance of both wholesome food and 
water, and, if he have not a copious supply of pure atmospheric air, 
he will languish and die. All these are indispensably necessary for 
his animal existence ; but, Avith all these, his life would still be 
a peculiarly wretched one, if he could at all be supposed to exist, 
without the light of the sun. If the sun never shone upon our 
terrestrial sphere, the earth would be a dark, desolate wilderness ; no 
vegetables could grow on it, and no animals now existing on its 
surface could live on it. Solar light and heat are necessary to the 
existence and growth of vegetables, and the vegetable kingdom, 
together with air and water, are necessary to the support of 
animal life. And can any one now say to which he is most indebted 
for the necessaries and comforts of life, — whether to the products of 
the earth, to the air, the water, or the solar light and heat ? Can any 
one now tell to which of these he owes most, or whether he is 


a debtor to any one or all of them ? They all, it is seen, are mutually 
necessary for the support and existence of man. The answer will 
doubtless be that they are all necessary and good ; that this world is 
admirably constituted for the maintenance and accommodation 
•of animate and intellectual beings ; that, in short, if the means 
and privileges which this world affords were rightly distributed 
among mankind, and used without abuse, our earth would be a ter- 
restrial paradise, worthy the name of heaven below ; all would 
be happiness and peace among men ; no one would covet or wrong- 
fully seek what did not belong to him ; each would be equally 
interested for the good of others as for his own ; but, since no one 
is responsible for having been born into the world, one should not 
consider one's self peculiarly indebted to it for the gifts and privileges 
it affords him, provided he has obtained and uses them aright. 

It will be seen that the principles of life and intelligence are 
inherent in all matter not only from the preceding illustrations 
but from those that follow. In the processes of change earth becomes 
rocks and minerals, and rocks and minerals become again crumbled 
into earth. The earth produces the vegetables, from their seeds, 
vegetables become incorporated in animals from being their food, and 
animal and vegetable substances become incorporated in man from 
being his food. The vegetable and animal substances are earthy 
matter, including common clay, mineral, and metal, now temporarily 
in different states from that in which they exist in the solid earthy 
substances. But these animal and vegetable substances are con- 
tinually undergoing change, and destined soon to return to the 
earth again, where they will still be undergoing change ; and 
one animal or vegetal)le bod}', say for example the body of any 
animal whatever, or a tree, when deposited in the earth, may give 
birth to thousands, yea, tens of millions of living beings ; and these 
countless beings ceasing to exist in their turn, their substances 
become earthy, which may give birth to other living beings, or go to 
the production and support of plants and animals. 

But vegetables and animals do not consist altogether of earthy 
matter, properly so called ; the largest part of their substance is 
made up of water, another species of matter ; and also the atmosphere, 
light and heat, enter into their production and substance. But 
water, as we have intimated, is a material substance, and so is 
the atmosphere ; and light as well as heat is an everywhere present 
■element, even in the dark and in the cold, only requiring the action 
:oi certain material agencies, or rather that matter be in certain 
•conditions, in order that we become sensible of their presence. 
Light and heat are merely phenomena or effects attendant upon cer- 


tain states or conditions of matter. All existence, therefore, is 
material, and nothing exists but what is of matter.* Others may 
substitute another name for it instead of matter, if they conceive of 
a more suitable one, as the names of all objects are arbitrarily given. 
The animal body is precisely of the same material as are the mediae 
in which it exists. The intelligent rational being is conscious that 
his system is made up of such like materials as earth, rocks, minerals 
metals, water, air, light and heat ; and it may perhaps be said, all 
circumstances being considered, that man is an epitome (here we will 
say) of material existence. 

To illustrate that the air is a material substance such things as the 
following might be considered: when a person runs against the wind 
he feels a force pressing him backwards, and the faster he runs the 
more is he sensible of its resistance. Though he is unable to 
see anything around him, yet he is sensible that something exists 
to press him back, for he experiences its effects. But a better illustra- 
tion of its materiality is the following : that it excludes all other bodies 
from the space it occupies. Thus, if over a cork, floating on a vessel 
full of water, we invert a glass jar having a wide mouth, it will 
be seen that but a very small quantity of water can get into the jar, 
because the air of which the jar is full keeps the water out ; otherwise 
if it were emptied of every material substance, the water would rush 
in and completely fill the jar. The cork, still floating on the surface, 
will show how far the water rises in the jar. On this principle 
the diver's bell has been constructed, an instrument in the shape of a 
bell, the use of which enables men to walk about on the bottom of 
the sea with as much safety as upon the land. The head of the diver 
being within this bell-shaped instrument, which comes down in 
ordinary cases nearly to his shoulders, is separated from the water, for 
the water cannot enter the bell except for a very short distance while 
the bell is filled with air. Fresh air is constantly supplied to 
the diver by means of an air-pump, situated on the land or on 
the deck of a vessel, and a tube which connects it with the diver's 
bell. In most cases there is a large diver's bell in Avhich the divers 
descend, which connects directly with the air-pump by a tube, and in 
which a supplj^ of air is kept for the divers, who have during 
their submarine explorations the small bells which they use connected 
by a tube with the reservoir of air in the large bell. Such an 
arrangement is necessary, for if air were not supplied the diver 
in sufficient quantity he could not remain below for any length 
of time, as the air contained in the bell which he uses becoming very 

* Excepting we conceive of pure space abstracting all idea of matter. 


dense by the pressure of the water and vitiated by his own breathing 
would become poisonous, and he would die. 

And again, if we take a pair of common bellows, and, after having 
opened them, if we shut up the nozzle and valve-hole, and try to bring 
the boards together again we shall find it impossible. There is some- 
thing included which prevents the liellows from coming togetlier in 
the same manner as if it were filled with flax or wool ; bat on open- 
ing the nozzle Ave can easily shut them by expelling this something 
from within, which will issue with considerable force, and impel any- 
thing that lies in its way. This something is atmospheric air. 

Also, air is not only material but wonderfully expansive and 
elastic. Thus, if a bottle, being put under the receiver of an air 
pump, is entirely emptied of its air, and in this condition being 
tightly corked is again introduced to the receiver, when the air is 
admitted to the receiver the bottle will be broken to pieces by the 
pressure of the air upon its outside, since there is nothing within the 
bottle to resist its pressure. Also, if a bottle full of air, and hermet- 
ically sealed, be put in the exhausted receiver of an air-pump, the 
air within the bottle expands, and, there being nothing on the out- 
side of the bottle to resist its outward pressure, breaks the bottle to 
pieces. All which shows that air is a material substance and capable 
of expansion when in a vacuum or rarer medium. And that it is 
susceptible of compression when acted upon by a denser body is 
proved by the fact of the water having ascended a short distance in 
the jar and the diver's bell, although they were full of air ; for no 
water could have entered them if the air the}^ contained were as dense 
as the water. Air is so elastic that a quantity of it, as it exists at 
the earth's surface, can be expanded into nearly fourteen thousand 
times its original bulk ; and the fact that it is elastic shows it also to 
be compressible, for whatever is elastic is capable of being com- 
pressed into a smaller space. Air is capable of being compressed into 
a small space compared with that which it naturally possesses. 

There can be no difficulty, we think, in any one conceiving how 
that water is a material substance. Like air it is capable of great 
expansion. A cubic inch of water, when reduced to steam, occupies 
a cubic foot or over seventeen hundred times its original bulk. But 
it is Avith difficulty that water can be compressed into a space less 
than that Avhich it naturally occupies. It is one of the first princi- 
ples of natural science, that no two bodies can be made to occupy 
the same space at the same time ; therefore, air is a body and so is 
water, just as much material bodies as stone or iron is. Fill a vessel 
full of water, and immerse in it any convenient solid, and a quantity 
of water will flow out of the vessel, exactly in proportion to the 


bulk of the body immersed. When a vacuum or empty space is 
made by the removal of any body, solid or fluid, the air rushes in 
from all sides instantaneously to fill up the vacuum, just as water 
rushes in from all sides to fill up the vacuum which is made by 
the taking of a pail of water from a reservoir, and as the vacuum 
which is made by the rolling of a wave on the surface of the ocean 
is instantly filled up by another wave rolling into its place, which 
undulatory activity is continued until the air becomes calm and 
the water level. The partial vacuum which is made at any place on 
the earth's surface by the expansion of the air by heat is instantly 
filled by the denser air from all sides rushing in to effect equilibrium. 
Such is the way in which winds are caused ; the air at certain parts 
of the earth becoming rarified by heat, the denser air from other 
parts comes in rapid motion to fill up the partial vacuum thus made. 
Thus, we liave, during a great part of the year, strong north-east and 
south-west winds, Avhich are caused by the colder and denser air of 
the north and south polar regions coming in rapid motion to fill up 
the partial vacua which have been caused by the rarefaction of the 
air by heat in the equatorial regions. A vacuum is a place from 
which all the air has been withdrawn ; a partial vacuum a place 
from which part of the air has been taken. A vacuum cannot ex- 
ist in the universe except it be an artificial one, such as that in the 
upper end of a barometer, called the Toricellian vacuum, from 
Toricelli, the inventor of that instrument, Avhich is considered the 
most perfect vacuum, and that in the exhausted receiver of an air 

All the spaces intervening between the heavenly bodies are occu- 
pied with air of a greater or less density. In some places it is dense, 
as at the surface of the earth, where, as we have said before, a 
quantity of it can be expanded into fourteen thousand times its 
original bulk ; and in some places it is rare, as on the tops of high 
mountains and in the upper regioiLs of our atmosphere. In the 
spaces intermediate of the heavenly bodies it is reduced to an exceed- 
ingly thin fluid called ether ; but in no place is it wanting in suffi- 
cient weight and density to counterbalance its surrounding elements, 
for all existing things are naturally in equilibrium, and when there 
is any disturbance, as by a vacuum, they tend to equilibrium. 

Thus, the atmosphere within the sphere of the earth's attraction is 
attracted to the earth's surface, and revolves with it round the sun, 
just as all the other bodies on the earth's surface are drawn towards 
its centre, and revolve with it in its diurnal and annual journe3^ The 
atmosphere, which is beyond the sphere of the earth's attraction, is 
either attracted by otliers of the heavenly bodies within whose spheres 


of attraction it lies, or it exists in the intermediate spaces in the form 
of ether, where it is not subject to any sensible attraction from any 
of the heavenl}^ spheres. 

The atmosphere which surrounds the earth is analogous to the 
ocean of water which covers three-fourths of its surface; which 
atmospheric ocean, as the ocean of water, revolves with the earth, 
and in the bottom of which, we, with the beasts and birds, exist, as 
do the aquatic animals, in their own element. 

The expansibility of the air and water by heat is exceedingly 
great; and not only these fluids but the densest and solidest sub- 
stances, such as rocks and iron, gold, platina, and iridium, the densest 
and heaviest metals with wliich man is acquainted, can be reduced to 
a gaseous or aeriform state by the application of sufficient heat. 
Heat has the power of penetrating all bodies, and the greater the 
amount of heat enters anj' body the more the body will be expanded. 
Thus, a certain degree of heat will reduce ice to water, and a certain 
additional amount will reduce the water to steam, which is an invisi- 
ble gas. Fill a bladder about half full with air and bring it close to 
the fire, and the heat entering the bladder will expand the air until 
it bursts the bladder. Fill the bladder about quarter full or put a 
still less amount of air in it, and leave it for a sufficient length of 
time before the fire, and the air will expand as before and burst the 
bladder. A like result also would happen to aeronauts if they should 
be carried so far from the surface of the earth as that the air in their 
bodies would be much denser than that by which they were sur- 
rounded ; the air inside their bodies would expand, seeking equilib- 
rium, and burst their bodies. Yet this will scarcely ever happen, 
we think, for the hydrogen gas with which balloons are filled, though 
lighter than the air at the earth's surface and for some miles above 
it, will not ever suffer the balloon to ascend into a very rare medium. 
The air contained in an apple can be expanded by heat to such a 
degree as that it will fill a space more- than forty-eight times the 
dimensions of the apple. Take an iron bar whose end when cold fits 
exactly into a hole, and when you have heated it red hot you will find 
it too large to enter the hole. Heat it more intensely and you will 
reduce, it to the state of a fluid, and apply a sufficient additional 
heat and you will reduce the iron to the state of a gas. You may 
take a similar process with gold or platina, iridium or any other 
solid substance in the earth,* and attain the same result. This pro- 
cess of the reduction of solids to gases applies to all bodies in the 
earth; they are all ultimately reducible to a gaseous or aeriform state 

* See, for example, "Comstock's Chemistry," or almost any other treatise on Chemistry as 
to this. Also, see Cassell's " Popular Educator," vol. ii. page 1. 


by the application of sufficient heat. It is therefore theoretically 
though not practically true that the whole earth is of a substance 
reducible to the form of gas or air. If it were practically true, which 
does not appear to be the case, we might not be sorry if there should 
be a residuum after the reduction of our sphere to an aeriform state, 
which we, had we the good fortune of being removed to other scenes 
of existence, might use as material for making telescopes and micro- 
scopes to open up to our view the still distant regions of the universe. 
But gas means air, and air means spirit, and spirit means breath or 
that which we breathe ; the whole earth, therefore, on which we 
dwell, with all that is connected with it, is spirit in a condensed form. 
In fact all the heavenly spheres, as we shall make plain hereafter, 
are of the same character, namely, condensed spirit, and the greater 
the amount of spirit condensed in a given sphere the greater is its 
power of attraction, just as the greater and stronger the mind of a 
man is, provided he uses it aright, the greater is his power to govern 
the minds of others. 

There is a natural constitution and order of things in general, a 
state in which they tend to remain if not acted on by forces external 
to nature, none of which we conceive or by the art of man. Thus, 
the atmosphere will remain in its natural or normal state, and so will 
the sea and the solid land, if not operated on artificially by man. 
The extent of his operations on these elements is, however, very 
limited. He may reduce water and some solid substances to air, and 
he may reduce air, as carbonic acid gas, to a solid form ; but all these 
will ultimately return to their natural condition, and the general con- 
dition of the atmosphere, the waters and the earth, will remain the 
same, notwithstanding all the change which man can eifect in them. 
When therefore things are altered from their natural state by man's 
art, the process may be explained upon the principles of excess and 
deficiency of spirit. For example, water in its natural state occupies 
a given space, but being reduced to the form of a gas, or steam, it 
occupies a much greater space. But how has this great expansion 
been effected? By the penetration into thesubstance of the water of an 
additional substance called heat,* which expands it or assimilates it to 
itself ; for although heat, as light and electricity, is an everywhere 
present substance, yet in its objective action it has to proceed from 
certain centres. The water in its natural state has its proper amount 
of heat, but when reduced to an aeriform state it has heat in excess. 

* This penetration and expansion may not necessarily be interpreted to mean that any, the 
smallest amount of substance from without itself enters the body that is heated; but it does 
mean that the ultimate elements of the body have been set in motion by impulse of body from 
without; and it is easily tuiderstood that the elements in motion moving upon each other take 
up more space than at rest, and thus expansion. 


And conversely, when iron or any other solid is subjected to intense 
cold it contracts, because of the abstraction of some of its noimal 
heat by the surrounding elements ; in this state it possesses heat in 
deficiency of its natural amount. All substances are expanded by 
heat, and all substances except water are contracted by cold. Water 
expands by freezing about one-seventh of its natural bulk, because 
the particles of the water crystallize, and the polyhedral crystals, we 
know, take up more room than the globular particles of the water in 
its natural state. Ever}^ one knows how his body and limbs swell, 
how his veins puff out, when he is much heated by severe exercise. 
One may also observe how his body and limbs contract, how the 
veins disappear, and how lank and meagre he is in comparison, Avhen 
he is subjected to severe cold. In the one case he has heat in excess of 
his naturiil amount, in the other he has it in deficiency. 

But things as naturally constituted may also be explained on the 
same principal of excess and deficiency of spirit, only by way of com- 
parison. The air, the waters, and the earth, tend as we have before 
said, to remain in their natural state. The more solid or dense a 
body is, the more matter or spirit, which here means the same thing 
does it contain. The solid earth, then, Avith its internal contents, 
minerals and metals, is evidently denser than water, and water is 
evideiitl}^ denser than the atmosphere, and the atmosphere which 
surrounds the earth is denser than the ether which lies in the sjDaces 
intermediate of the heavenly bodies. The globe of the earth, -there- 
fore, land and water, in the given space which it occupies, comprises 
much more matter than the atmosphere does in the space which it 
occupies as compared with that occupied by the earth ; and the earth's 
atmosphere may be said to comprise more matter than does the ether 
in any part of the universe, taking space for space. Thus, the solid 
parts of the earth may be said by comparison to have matter in excess 
of the fluid parts, taking equal spaces, and the waters to have matter 
in excess of the atmosphere, taking equal spaces ; and the atmosphere 
to have matter in excess of the ether, taking equal spaces. And, con- 
versel}^ the ether maj^ be said, in like manner, to have matter in de- 
ficiency of the atmosphere, the atmosphere in deficiency of the waters, 
and the waters in deficiency of the solid parts of the earth. The earth, 
therefore, is the great concentration of spirit to which all things else 
tend that are Avithin the range of its attraction. It is denser towards 
and at its centre than near or on its surface, and all things on its 
surface and its atmosphere are attracted towards its centre. And 
it contains in itself that power by which it moves, but it is confined 
to a certain course by the attraction of a weightier body, the sun, or 
other heavenly bodies. 


The same power of penetration belongs to electricity and light 
as to heat. Light, heat, and electricity are all the same substance, 
under different modes of action and manifestation, or, rather, we 
may call electricity the element of which light and heat are peculiar 
phenomena, or modes of action. They are always found together 
when means are employed sufficiently sensitive or delicate to detect 
them, and all three are capable of producing a number of effects of 
precisely the same character in every respect. They are all three 
capable of penetrating all other bodies with which man is acquainted ; 
they are all three capable of dispersion by means of conduction or 
radiation; and ihej may all be accumulated and concentrated or in- 
tensified in their action. Thus electricity is capable of being diffused 
by means of light, and also by means of heat; that is, if electricity 
be accumulated or intensified in its action at any point, and light 
and heat only be given off from that point, it is found that the elec- 
tricity is dispersed although no current of electricity proper has 
flowed from the point. And, again, if light or heat, either or both, 
be applied to any point, a current of electricity can be educed from 
it ; all of which goes to show tliat light, heat, and electricity are one 
and the same substance under different modes of action and manifes- 

Magnetism, also chemical action, motion and gravitation are modi- 
fications of the same general substance, or effects of the same agenc5\ 
That magnetism produces motion is the ordinary evidence we have 
of its existence. In the magneto-electric machine we see a rotating 
magnet evolving electricity ; and the electricity so evolved may im- 
mediately after exhibit itself as heat, light, or chemical affinity. 
Faraday's discovery of the effect of magnetism on polarized light, as 
well as the discovery that change of magnetic state is accompanied 
by heat, point to further like connections. Moreover, various ex- 
periments show that the magnetization of a body alters its internal 
structure ; and that conversely, the alteration of its internal structure, 
as by mechanical strain, alters its magnetic condition. From light, 
also, it is seen may proceed the like variety of agencies. Tlie solar 
rays change the internal arrangement of the parts of particular crys- 
tals. Certain mixed gases which do not otherwise combine, combine 
in the sunlight. In some compounds light produces decomposition. 
Since the experiments of photographers have drawn attention to the 
subject, it has been shown that "a vast number of substances, both ele- 
mentary and compound, are notably affected b}^ this agent, even those 
apparently the most unalterable in character, such as metals. When 
a daguerreotype plate is connected with a proper apparatus " we get 
chemical action on the plate, electricity circulating through the 


wires, magnetism in the coil, heat in the helix, and motion in the 
needles." The production of all other modes of force from chemical 
action scarcely needs mentioning. The ordinary accompaniment of 
chemical action is heat ; when the affinities are intense, light also, 
under fit conditions, is produced. Chemical changes, involving al- 
teration of bulk, cause motion both in the combining elements and 
in adjacent masses of matter; witness the expulsion of rocks by the 
explosion of gunpowder in blasting. In the galvanic battery elec- 
tricity results from chemical composition and decomposition; while 
through the medium of this electricity chemical action produces 

Science has hitherto discovered 62 or 63 natural elements, which 
enter into the composition of our earth and atmosphere, which it 
denominates simple or uncompounded, and which it thus classifies : 
Three permanent gases, oxygen, hydrogen and nitrogen ; four elements 
having many similar characteristics, chlorine, bromine, iodine, and 
fluorine ; five solids not possessing the usual metallic properties, such 
as metallic opacity and lustre, carbon, boron, selenium, sulphur and 
phosphorus ; fifty metals, only one of which is a liquid, namely, 
mercury, or quicksilver, all tlie other metals being solid. Of these it 
is generally considered that all known things are constituted, and 
the names given to these simple substances, on account perhaps of 
their peculiar properties, distinguish them from one another. But it 
may not be necessary to understand any more than two elements in 
nature which we may call by the old names, electricity and carbon, 
the latter substance representing the solid parts of existence, the 
former the fluid or gaseous ; and the time will come, and perhaps is 
not far distant, when scientific men will conclude that there is no 
necessity of understanding any more than one substance to be in 
existence, which we shall call spirit, or leave unnamed, and of which 
all the varieties and diversities met with in nature are but modifica- 
tions and phenomena. Nor may they think it necessary to limit the 
number of these modifications to sixty-three, or to put any limit 
whatever to that number ; for the number of modifications in nature, 
as existence itself, is infinite. 

But let it be remembered that, though all these so-called simple 
substances are but modifications of the same general substance, yet 
the knowledge and classification of them, after such a manner as has 
been in vogue by scientific men, may not be without its use. If it 
may be employed in the arts for the abridgment of human labor, for 
the prevention of human suffering, or for the supply of human wants 

* See Grove on the Correllation of Physical Forces; also, Herbert Spencer's Princiyals of 


and necessities, conveniences or comforts, then it is useful ; but, if it 
be employed in the arts which minister to the detriment of human 
beings, so far it would be better not known nor practiced. There are 
no men who should be more candid, more interested in the welfare 
of mankind, or more active and industrious for the amelioration of 
the condition of human beings, than learned and scientific men. 
They are in the possession of that of which the great mass of man- 
kind are destitute, which, if they use aright, will doubtless prove a 
blessing to their race, but, if they abuse or neglect, will prove a 
detriment and an injustice. Such men should remember that they 
have a trust committed to them, for the proper use of which they are 
responsible to their Creator, but for the abuse of which they will 
suffer the consequences in their own experience. Men feel all the 
happier for being good and doing good, yea, all the good they possi- 
bly can. Let each one of our readers remember this. 

But the great mass of mankind, although unacquainted with chemi- 
cal science or natural philosophy, have yet enough of common sense 
and sound judgment to guide them in their use of natural objects. 
Nature is a good guide, if they will but give sufficient attention to it, 
observe its laws and live according to its dictates. Surely most men 
know that matter is continually changing, undergoing new modifica- 
tions, and entering into new combinations ; and that a material sub- 
stance which in one state would be healthful, in another state, would 
be a rank poison. No man in the use of his senses and reason would 
choose to live in a place surrounded by unwholesome air and noxious 
gases in preference to a healthy place where there is an abundance of 
pure air, yet we find thousands in the rural districts, and even in 
large towns and cities, who erect their houses on the edge of marshes, 
and in the bottom of valleys, environed by hills, where they are sur- 
rounded with pestilential effluvia, carbonic acid gas and other gases, 
instead of on the brow or summit of a hill, where they Avill have the 
advantage of wholesome air. Neither would he choose to drink 
unwholesome pool-water in preference to the limped water of the 
running brook or the springing well ; nor, in preference to this last, 
would he consent to use such productions of art, as champagne or 
claret, whiskey or rum, gin, ale, beer, porter, and such like intoxicat- 
ing drinks, although a great many who, in other respects, seem to use 
right reason are weak and silly enough to make use of such beverages. 
If a man who sleeps in an ill-ventilated room does not know scien- 
tifically the cause that is producing the weakness of his system, it 
may interest him to be told that, in breathing the confined air during 
the night his system has absorbed its nutritive properties, and has 
left only that part of it which is not fit to be breathed, which is tech- 


nically called carbonic acid gas, and which, if it continues to be 
breathed, will cause suffocation and will ultimately cause death, — 
he, then, will be likely to conclude, whether scientifically or not, 
that he needs a constant supply of fresh air in his sleeping apartment. 
But there are few men so stupid as not to know, even though they 
ma}' not be acquainted with one of the first principles of chemical 
science, that they stand in need, da}- and night, of a constant supply 
of fresh air. Without any knowledge of chemistry, the coal miner 
knows that he needs a constant supjjly of fresh air in the mine or 
that he cannot work there (and here it is proper for us to remark, 
since the vital interests of a large class of human beings are at stake, 
that it is the duty of the proprietors of coal mines, and of other 
mineral mines, to provide that the mines be supplied with a copious 
supply of fresli air, and otherwise kept as safe as possible, and that 
there ought to be superintendents of mines appointed by government 
whose care it should be that these things be done). Coal mines are 
usually supposed to have two shafts reaching from the surface of the 
earth to the bottom of the mine, into one of which air is impelled by 
means of an air pump, which air traverses the whole length and 
breadth of the mine, penetrating all its departments and recesses, and 
enabling the men and animals there to prosecute their employments. 
At the bottom of the other shaft a fire is kept burning, which rarifies 
the air now vitiated and impregnated with noxious gases after tra- 
versing the mine, and causes it continually to ascend through this 
shaft. It will be remembered that air rarified by heat always ascends. 
In sonie of the coal mines of Pennsylvania, in which such appalling 
accidents have happened of late, we have learned, Avhether it be true 
or not, there are some that know, that there was only one shaft used 
for the access and escape of air to and from the mine. 

Experience will teach men, if they will but observe, that the air 
in deep wells, in cellar's, in close rooms, in caverns, in marshes and 
loAv places, as well as in the upper regions of our atmosphere, is un- 
fit to breathe and detrimental to health : and how bracing and 
wholesome is the air upon the elevated surface of the earth, and in 
all places to Avhich it has free access, or which are kept well ventil- 
ated ; how the air inside a building Avhich has become vitiated by 
the breathing for a long time of a large assembly of people is not by 
any means as Avholesome to breathe as the pure out-of-door air ; how 
that the water contained in marshes and stagnant pools is not fit to 
drink, and hoAv that contained in the running brook or springing 
well is wholesome and refreshing ; how that the piece of flesh or 
other article of food which when fresh would be wholesome and 
nutritious, when undergoing decay would be a rank poison. 


The hungry man does not stop to enquire whether the loaf of 
bread he receives- is a compound of a number of simple substances, 
or whether it is but one substance. He takes it for granted that it 
is wholesome, and does not suspect that it contains any noxious 
properties. The use of a similar substance before lias given him ex- 
perience to know that it is just what he wants to satisfy his appe- 
tite. He knows, very probably, that it is made up of flour, water, 
yeast and salt; and it may not iuici'cst liiiu 1) learn that llio co.n- 
ponent salt is itself a compound of chlorine and sodium; that tlic 
yeast is composed of carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen; that 
the water is composed of oxygen and hydrogen ; and that the flour 
is the product of the albumen of the wheat or other grain, which is 
itself made up of carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, sulphur, 
phosphorus, &c., and that the whole loaf, if he can spare it, may be 
reduced to the state of a gas or air by the application to it of suffi- 
cient heat. He, probably, in his hungry state is not interested to 
know whether the egg he receives is but one simple substance, or 
that science has determined it to be made up of 55 parts carbon, 16 
parts nitrogen, 7 parts hydrogen, and the remaining 22 parts, out of 
a hundred into which the egg is su^jposed to be divided chemically, 
are made up of oxygen, phosphorus, sulphur, &c., and that it, as the 
loaf, can be reduced to the form of an invisible gas by heat. But if 
he received that loaf or egg in a mould}^ or decayed state, his rea- 
son or common sense would at once suggest to him that it would be 
injurious to his system if he ate it. He probably does not know, 
nor is interested to learn, whether the piece of flesh he receives is 
one simple substance, or whether it may be compounded of many 
simple substances, as carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, sul- 
phur, phosphorus, &c., which chemical science determines it to be. 
He takes and uses these without hesitation, knowing from past ex- 
perience and daily observation, that they are just such food as he 
needs. But if he receives these in a decayed state he would not use 
them, experience also telling him that in such a state they would do 
him hurt. Good common sense, therefore, accurate observation of 
the operations of nature, and the experience which is derived from 
the varied scenes and associations of life, seem most of the knowl- 
edge that is necessary for men to be possessed of, provided they use 
them rationally, in order to their well-being. It is, however, desira- 
ble that men should become possessed of all the knowledge they 
can, whether in relation to science, or art, or the affairs of life or 
any other branch of knowledge which may administer to their hap- 
piness and well-being. But even here common sense and reason 
should guide them in the selection of the branches of knowledge 


which they should pursue : those should be selected which are most 
necessary, and undertaken and pursued with a good and useful end 
and object in view. Time, for example, spent in the study of some 
of the dead languages and of some other branches which are never 
reduced to practical use, if these studies be not pursued merely as a 
discipline for the mind whereby some good may be derived from 
them in that sense, is time lost. That time might be well and use- 
fully spent in a practical way, or in the study of those branches 
which could be reduced to a practical use for the benefit and well- 
being of the person's self and of mankind. And not only the per- 
son's own benefit, but that of mankind also should be kept in view, 
in the selection and pursuit of anv branch of study. The knowledge 
of chemistry, we allow, may be made of great use to mankind, if 
emploj'ed by those who become possessed of it for the benefit and 
highest good of mankind, and not, as in many cases it is, for their 
detriment. What shall we say of all these poisonous luxuries that 
adorn the tables of the rich, and which owe their existence to chem- 
istry ? Or of gunpowder, which chemistry informs us is made up of 
nitrate of potassa, carbon and sulphur, in specific quantities ? 

That that which we denominate matter has never not existed,* 
will become more apparent as we proceed and is the opinion now 
most generally entertained among the learned. But that change bus 
always taken place in matter, that the earth and the heavenly bodies 
have always been as to their substance and motion the same as they 
are now, that mankind has always existed as to general form and 
appearance much as he in general exists now, that the universe has 
always presented to the eye of man, in general, the same phenomena 
as it does now, that it has always been to him a present thing, — a 
thing, we say, so far as it came within his view or could be con- 
ceived by his mind ; but as to its being wholly conceived by his 
mind, nothing ; of all this, although we do not necessarily assert the 
positive, preferring to leave people to judge for themselves concern- 
ing these matters from the arguments which we shall afterwards 
adduce, we may assert that there is no valid evidence to the con- 
trary, (t) 

The only conceptions which the mind of man can form are of ob- 
jects or things. Objects or things are limited or bounded, they all 

* If matter, which by any meaus knowable cannot possibly be annihilated, is asserted to 
have been brought into existence in some way called creation, it may and often is consistenUy 
asked, how has that space been created which matter occupies? If inquiry is necessary con- 
cerning this subject, the creation of one of these is as much a subject of inquiry as that of the 

(t) See examination and comparison of the accounts of the Creation in the book of Genesis 
in the beginning of Part Second of this boolc. To these accounts, or to the hypothesis of " evo- 
lution " which has for its base the "Xebular hypothesis," they may refer who are not content 
•with creation as it acLually takes place. 

THE earth's existence. 31 

have a beginning and an end, a limit in every direction. But the 
universe being infinite, that is, without beginning or end, or any- 
conceivable possible limit in any direction whatever, is no thing, no 
object : it is nothing. This may be better understood from an illus- 
tration. Take a line, (which is necessarily an imaginary one,) and 
beginning at any given point, say the centre of the table before you, 
conceive of it as extended upward toward the Zenith, or straight 
above your head ; or right downwards toward the Nadir, straight be- 
neath your feet ; or towards the East, West, North or South, or in 
any other direction whatever, toward any point of the celestial sphere ; 
conceive of this line as extended for any length of time, say for a 
thousand millions of centuries, and at any rate of rapidity of exten- 
sion, say ten thousand millions of miles per second ; let it be con- 
ceived of as extended for any length of time, and at any rate of ra- 
pidity whatever, and it can never be conceived of as coming to a 
termination in any one direction, so that it cannot be conceived as 
being capable of being extended further. It is as near such a termi- 
nation in any direction where it ceases to be extended, as it is at the 
central point of the table from whence it began to be extended. And 
that central point, too, of the table, which we have used for conveni- 
ence of illustration, we do not conceive as having either beginning 
or end : it is infinite and nothing. Here then is the idea or the no 
idea; the universe everything and nothing; a point infinite and 

The human mind, as we have stated, can conceive only of objects 
or things. A man is an object, a tree is an object, the earth is an 
object, the moon is an object, the sun is an object, the planets and 
stars are objects ; and everything that has or can be conceived of as 
having a beginning and an end, a bound in every direction of space, 
and everything that has or can be conceived of as having a beginning 
and an end in time, is an object or thing. In fact the universe, so far 
as it can be conceived by the mind, is an object or thing ; but con- 
sidered as infinite it is nothing. 

This illustration of infinitude and finitude will throw some light 
upon the statements we have made in the opening page of this book, 
as to the Creator and Creation. Is it not very plain that our omnip- 
otent and glorious Creator, that is infinite, cannot be conceived by 
the mind, much less seen by the eye ? And yet men are so unrea- 

* If any one will consider for a moment upon this subject he will realize that, in a sense, he 
is infinite. The thought starts from his own mind, and, like Noah's dove, sent forth from the 
ark, can find no resting-place in any direction whatever until it return to his own mind again. 
In the mind it has the beginning and the end. If the mind could reach a limit in any direction 
whatever so tliat it could not conceive further, he would be finite, not infinita 


sonable, so presumptuous, as to set up material objects as representa- 
tions of Him, and wors^hip them ; and invent systems of ideas which 
they call systems, or " bodies " of divinity, and set them up and wor- 
ship them instead of Him. For how is it possible to conceive of an 
Infinite Being ? The mind can form no idea of Him, and how absurd 
and blasphemous that men should worship objects and things such 
as the sun, moon and stars, idols of w'ood and of stone, and men living 
and dead of their own race ! It appears so absurd and blasphemous 
as scarcely to be tolerable. And yet we are sensible of the presence 
of our great Creator, and can see His character reflected in every 
natural object. How important it is that men should be good and 
do good, and maintain an humble and devout spirit in His pres- 
ence ? 

It is plain that the distinction between objects and things and 
nothing, or, in other words, between the finite and the infinite, arises 
from the different states and conditions of matter as to density and rari- 
t}', — an idea which perhaps will be understood from the explanation 
we have already given of it, and may be more clearly understood 
from what follows : If all the matter in our globe and in all the other 
bodies in space were reduced to a gaseous or aeriform state, all of the 
same densitv, which reduction we have shown to be theoretically 
possible, there could be no object or thing in the universe : nothing 
but space which we can now conceive would exist. We might con- 
ceive of space to no end, but there would be no proper object to be 
conceived by the mind. jNIatter considered in the form of our earth 
or of any other globe, or even of Saturn's ring or of any other form, is 
an object or thing, and the condition of its being a definite object 
depends upon its existing in that condensed form to distinguish it 
from other forms of matter. Hence partly arises the numberless ob- 
jects which are in and on the earth, partly we say, for some objects 
are distinguishable from others by their difference of density, some 
by their difference in form, and some by their difference of color, etc. j 
for there is such a diversity in all these, and in other respects, that 
scarcely any two objects in all nature are exactly alike in ever}^ 
respect. This will be better understood from illustrations which we 
design to give further on. Hence it may truly be said that the earth 
exists out of nothing, also the sun, moon and stars, and each of the 
other heavenly bodies which do exist in the universe ; each of these 
bodies, hoAvever large, is a definite object or thing, and each of them 
may be said to exist out of nothing ; and, if all were reduced to an 
aeriform state of the same density throughoiit, they would cease to 
be definite objects or things and would vanish into nothing. Hence 
too, may have arisen the notion entertained by the ancients, of the 


earth and the heavens having been created or caused to exist out of 
nothing in six days, a notion which has descended to our time, but 
which of late, since the researches of geologists and astronomers have 
shed a glimmer of light upon the subject, has been discarded, 
or rather the subject has begun to be understood differently — 
understood in such a way for the sake of accommodation, per- 
haps, that the six days are made to represent six long periods ot 
time. And what, do we guess, will be the next step Avhicli theo- 
logians and all godly men will take with respect to this subject. 
Why they will be happy to confess that for what they know to the 
contrary the globe on which we dwell as to its essence and present 
general form has never not existed ; even thus they generally look 
at it now, leaving the perfect understanding of it to God alone. The 
doctrine of the creation of the cosmos out of nothing, as it has been 
taught and believed, has been the cause of a great deal of supersti- 
tion, and indeed a particular inconvenience and impediment to pro- 
gress, in the right direction. Not the old creation of Genesis but the 
new creation of John should be held out as of any importance for 
men to believe in ; not a creed of miracles which are only properly 
understood by a few, or of traditions which as commonly and 
literally understood are nullified by their inconsistency should be 
held forth as of importance for men to accept by the teachers of man- 
kind. They should teach men to be good and to do good individ- 
ually; to live lives of self-denial, of holiness and righteousness, of 
charity and of honest industry : they should teach men to depend 
for happiness and peace upon their own godly living, and not to depend 
for immunity for their own misspent lives, their lives of impurity, of 
vice and wickedness, upon the virtues of any other. They should 
practise this doctrine of regeneration themselves, and let their lives 
of humility, of industry and of godliness be conspicuous examples 
for those they teach to imitate. They should not teach men to ex- 
pect the millennium, except men themselves, by their godly living, 
bring it in ; and they should do all in their power in the state, in 
their own narrower sphere, and in the improvement of individual 
life, to introduce and perpetuate that glorious era. 

That the cosmos as to the phenomena of forms, motions, &c., has 
never not existed while there is no evidence definitely to prove, as it 
is impossible for us to conceive infinite time any more than infinite 
space, there is, as we have mentioned before, no evidence to dis- 
prove. While men have no knowledge of its having existed even 
essentially in any other way, say for example, in a nebular state, as 
the nebular hypothesis, which we shall speak of, by and by, and 

which is only an hypothesis, assumed, yet they have definite knowl- 



edge for long periods of time, of its having existed in the present 
general way, as to phenomena of forms, motions, &c. Although 
Astronomy was cultivated by the ancient eastern nations, especially 
the Babylonians and Egyptians, for thousands of years before the 
Christian Era, yet Thales, a Milesian, whose date is 610 B. C. was the 
first we know of, to have recorded an eclipse ; and astronomers of 
the present day tracing backward the eclipses to his time have deter- 
mined his record to be correct ; and also that the earth, moon, sun, 
and planets have performed their revolutions during that period 
with undeviating regularity and precision. Therefore, tracing back- 
wards in the same manner we shall find that we have no right to 
infer that as to the phenomena of forms, motions, &c. they ever 
existed in any other way than as in general, they do now, or that 
their- substance assumed such forms, motions, &c., from having 
existed previously in any other state, since we have no evidence for 
any such conclusion and are not necessitated to point an assumption 
from which to draw any such inference, which would be heaping one 
hypothesis upon another. The compound ring of the planet Saturn 
is a body of such immense dimensions that it is computed to contain 
an area of more than one hundred times that of our globe, and to 
revolve around that planet at an exceedingly rapid rate of motion, 
namel}^ 900 miles a minute. It is found to be not exactly concen- 
tric with the body of Saturn, and, therefore, must subsist about that 
planet in a state of unstable equilibrium. " The observed oscilla- 
tion," says Sir J. Herschell, " of the centres of the rings about that 
of the planet is, in itself, the evidence of a perpetual contest between 
conservative and destructive powers, both extremely feeble, but so 
antagonistic to one another as to prevent the latter from ever 
acquiring- an uncontrollable ascendancy and rushing to a catastrophe. 
The smallest difference of velocity between the body of the planet 
and the rings must infallibly precipitate the latter on the former, 
never more to separate ; consequently their motion in their common 
orbit round the sun must have been adjusted to each other hj an 
external power with the minutest precision, or the rings must have 
been formed about the planet, while subject to their common orbitual 
motion, and under the full free influence of all the acting powers." 
Such is the complexity of the system of Saturn: — the immense globe 
of the planet, itself a thousand times larger than the earth, in rapid 
motion, and surrounded with a comjDOund ring of such immense 
dimensions, as we have mentioned above, and with eight moons, all 
in rapid motion around the body of the planet, and with the planet 
in space around the sun, — as well as the doctrine of gravitation, as 
all forbid the idea of these bodies having been formed or their 

THE earth's existence. 35 

njotions adjusted to each other when in rapid motion in space, and 
subject to all the acting forces. 

But the main question which will suggest itself in the case before 
us, doubtless, is : — If the cosmos as to the phenomena of form, motion, 
&c., has not always existed as it does now, how has it come to exist 
thus ? One of the iirst ideas that strike the mind when investi2:atinsr 
this subject is that of the gradual condensation of matter from all 
sides towards a common centre. This probably led some to suppose 
that the earth and all the celestial bodies are the results of a gradual 
condensation or closing in of the matter of which they are composed 
towards their several common centres. But such a thought or 
theory is inconsistent with the general theory of gravitation, with 
the regularity and precision of the motions of the spheres, as well 
as with the character and constitution of the earth as to solid, 
liquid, and gaseous. All things on the earth's surface, and for a 
certain distance in a perpendicular direction from its surface, tend 
or are attracted toward its centre. So, doubtless, it is with all the 
celestial spheres. If an earthly bodv, solid or liquid, is rarified 
sufficiently by heat, it ascends from its surface, but becoming con- 
densed in the atmosphere it returns to the earth's surface again. 
You can reduce water to the form of a gas, as steam, but it becomes 
vapor in the atmosphere, accumulates into clouds and descends to 
the earth again in the form of water or rain. Also, if any earthly 
substance, mineral or metal be reduced to a gas, every particle of it 
will soon find its way to the earth again in some form or in different 
forms, for the atmosphere is so constituted as to be sufficient in itself 
to answer the purpose which it is adapted to fulfil. Water is also 
so constituted as to be a stable element, sufficient in itself to fulfil 
the purpose for which it is adapted ; there is always exactly the same 
quantity of it in the earth, and, belonging to the earth, in the atmos- 
phere in the form of vapor. The solid parts of the earth also are so 
constituted as to be a stable element, sufficient in itself to fulfil the 
purpose for which it is adapted ; for, as we have stated, if an earthly 
substance or mineral be reduced to an aeriform state every particle 
of it will find its way to the earth again : the atmosphere does not 
want it, having enough of its own, and whilst it remains there it is a 
foreign in the midst of a native element. Also, if any part of the 
dry land by earthquakes, the action of the waves on coasts, or anj 
occiirrence in nature, be submerged, an equal extent will be freed 
from the dominion of the waters in some other place ; and men bring- 
ing their land plants and animals with them, they will all be propa- 
gated upon this new land to supply the place of those vegetables 
and animals which were lost by submergence. There is no sufficient 


reason to believe that more than small portions of land are lost 
at any time by the water, or that more than small portions are set 
free when compared with the whole extent of the dry land. 

The solids of the earth, the waters, and the atmosphere always 
retain their natural or normal bulk, if not expanded by the admis- 
sion to them of an excess of heat, or contracted by the abstraction 
of some of the heat that naturally belongs to them. A certain 
quantity of heat, as we have before said, belongs to all bodies, and 
so long as they possess just that amount and no more, or no less, 
they are said to be in their natural or normal state. And the doc- 
trines of natural science prove, as clearly as anything can be proved, 
the stability of fluids if allowed to remain in their natural state. It 
is proved by hj^drostatics and pneumatics that fluids press equally in 
all directions.* For example : fill a cubic measure full of water or 
atmospheric air, the lid being put on air-tight, the pressure upwards 
against the lid of the vessel will be the same as that downwards 
against its bottom, and the pressure against its sides will be equal 
to the upward or doAvnward pressure. This is seen more clearlj- in 
the case of a globe-shaped vessel filled with water or air ; the pres- 
sure outwards upon every point of the inside of the sphere will be 
equal ; and the fluid is said to be in stable equilibrium. Let it be 
remembered that the fluid in both of these cases needs to be in its 
natural state ; for if either water or' atmospheric air be possessed of 
more than its natural amount of heat its tendency is to ascend, and, 
therefore, the pressure upwards against the lid of the vessel would 
be greater than that downward or in any other direction. Heated 
water is seen to ascend in the shape of steam, and the air, heated in 
the fire place, makes its way up the chimney, carrying with it the 
unconsumed particles of charcoal, in which condition it is called 

The fact of air and water or any other body, expanded by heat, 
ascending perpendicularly rather than going in any other direction 
from the earth's surface, needs explanation. Thus it will be remem- 
bei'ed that the earth is round like a ball, and is continually revolv- 
ing round an imaginary line, passing from its north to its south poles 
or points, and called the earth's axis. It revolves round its circum- 
ference in the space of about twenty-four hours, producing in that 
length of time the succession of day and night. When it is noon- 
day with us in the northern hemisphere, it is midnight with those 

* Such is the general statement in Hydrostatics and Pneumatics, but it is necessary to 
modify it thus : the lateral pressure varies according to the perpendicular height, that is to say, 
it increases with the square of the depth ; and in this respect it is governed by precisely the 
same law that governs the velocity of "falling bodies ;" see farther on page 43. See ako 
Joyce's Scientific dialogues under Hydrostiitics as to this Umitiition. 

THE earth's existence. 37 

residing in the southern hemisphere, and during the interval of 
twelve hours, between twelve o'clock night and twelve o'clock noon, 
the earth has travelled round half her circumference, or over 12,000 
miles; and during the interval of twelve hours more, between twelve 
o'clock, noon, and twelve o'clock, night, the earth has travelled over 
12,000 miles more, or the other half of her circumference ; for the 
whole circumference of the earth is nearly 25,000 miles. It will be 
readily understood, therefore, that the inhabitants of the southern 
hemisphere have the soles of their feet directly opposite to those of 
ours, and their heads pointing in contrary directions to our heads. 
Hence in the day-time, when we consider ourselves looking up into 
the heavens and contemplating the sun, they must necessarily be look- 
ing downwards, or in the contrary direction, when viewing the stars ; 
and in the night-time, when we consider ourselves looking up into 
the heavens and contemplating the moon, the stars and the milky 
way, it being their day-time, they must be looking downwards, or 
in the contrary direction, when viewing the sun. And, conversely, 
during their daj^-time, which is our night, when they imagine, them- 
selves looking up toward the sun and the shining heavens, we must 
necessarily be looking downwards, or in the contrary direction, 
while gazing on tlie moon, the stars and the milky way ; and during 
their night-time, which is our day, when they imagine themselves 
looking up toward the heavens at the stars, the moon and the milky 
way, we must i?ecessarily be looking dowirwards, or in a contrary 
direction, while contemplating the sun in his brightness passing 
the meridian. Hence, as in natural science it is proved that equal 
and opposite forces, acting on the same plane, produce a negative 
result, so it is here as evidently proved that there is neither up nor 
doivn as regards the universe, or, speaking otherwise, as regards in- 
finite, spiritual or material existence.* This subject may be more 
clearly illustrated by the use of an artificial globe, such as are used 
in schools. Thus, the earth being round like a ball, when a body is 
expanded by heat into a gas at any point of its surface, it will take 
a direction perpendicular to the place where it begins to be expanded 
in separating itself from the earth's surface. Hence, if the whole 
earth underwent a gradual expansion at the same time, the expand- 
ing matter going in directions perpendicular to every point of the 
earth's surface, we may coiiceive that the earth, provided it became 

* lu this connection it is fitting to remade that tliere are alilce apparent contradictions with 
respect to the motions of the earth. Thus the eartli moves round its axis in a contrary direction 
to that in which it moves round the sun. And iu its motion toward the constellation, Hercules, 
in company with the sun and tlie other members of his system, it moves in a direction different 
from either of these. So that the threefold contradiction, apparently, at least, nullifies the real 

38 CREATOR a:s'd cosmos. 

reduced into fluid, all of the same density, would be expanded into 
an immense gaseous globe, perhaps fifty or one hundi'ed thousand 
times its present dimensions, though still retaining its globular form. 
This we have shown before to be theoretically probable, though it is 
not practically so, for as long as the material elements, solid, liquid, 
and gaseous, of which our earth and atmosphere are composed have 
neither more nor less heat than what naturally belongs to them, they 
will remain in their natural state. 

Also, the uniform globular figure of the earth and of all other 
heavenly bodies is no disproof of their permanency. To this spher- 
ical form of the heavenly bodies there is no exception but one, 
namely, Saturn's compound ring, among the tens of thousands of 
those bodies which the telescope has enabled us to explore. And if 
all these bodies Avere formed by the gradual settling in of their mat- 
ter towards their centres, how does it hajopen that none of them ex- 
cept Saturn's ring is of any other than a globular form ? why are 
not some of them in the form of squares, or j^entagons, or hexagons, 
or in spme other polyhedral form? or why did Saturn's compound 
ring assume the form it has ? The evidences that the earth is a globe 
are complete and irresistible ; and every one who has the use of his 
eyes knows by observation that the sun and moon are round. The 
telescope enables us to contemplate the planets of the solar sys- 
tem from a nearer standpoint than that at which we survey the 
moon without its aid. All these planets are of globiflar shape, each 
performing its motions in space as the earth is. Telescopes of high 
magnifjdng power, such as that of Herschell and Earl Rosse, also 
virtually transport us to the regions of the fixed stars, regions so 
immensely distant that any conceivable agent, travelling at the rate 
of twelve millions of miles a minute, would take scores, yea hun- 
dreds, and from some of them, thousands of years to reach our earth. 
Although the distance of those stars are so immensely great that 
none of them have yet been closely contemplated, still there is evi- 
dence, judging from the cones of light Avhich they send forth, to show 
them to be of globular figure. 

The great nebular systems, so many of which have been brought 
into view by the telescope, are found when closely scrutinized by 
telescopes of great space-penetrating power, to consist of systems of 
stars, each star of which it is reasonabl}^ conjectured is the centre 
sun of a planetary system, and each star and planet of which is most 
probably of the globular form. Over 3600 of these systems of neb- 
ulae have been discovered in the northern and southern hemispheres. 
The nebulae which were known to astronomers before the great tele- 
scopes were invented had given rise to various theories, and, among 

THE earth's existence. 39 

them, this, to which the assent of many minds was given, that the 
formation of the celestial spheres took place from the gradual condensa- 
tion of celestial vapor, such as these nebulae appeared to them to be. 
Sir Wm. Herschell's great telescope first dispelled this idea by showing 
that many of the nebulae, so regarded as vapor, were really clusters of 
stars; but at the same time by its space-penetrating power it reveals 
new nebulae before unknown and beyond its resolving power. The 
construction of Earl Rosse's great telescope next contributed a new 
and vastly increased resolving power, and again showed the nebulae 
unresolved before consisted of star-clusters only still more remote, 
but at the same time it added to our knowledge the. existence of 
other nebulae before unknown, and, in turn, beyond its power of res- 
olution. " Thus," says Humboldt, " by increasing optical power, 
resolution of old and discovery of new would follow each other in 
endless succession ; so that it may be fairly asked whether we can 
with probability assume both such a state of the universe, and such 
a degree of improvement in optical instruments, that in the whole 
firmament there shall not remain one unresolved nebulae." When the 
phenomena which gave rise to the theory of gradual condensation 
had vanished, one would think that the false impression to which 
the theory gave rise should vanish also. It is not, however, neces- 
sary for any one to conclude that all the bodies existing in space, as 
our earth is, are of globular form, for, although all those we can see 
with our eyes and all the telescope has brought within our view are 
of that form, yet the universe being infinite, there may still remain 
bodies existing in it of great diversity of form. 

Also, the laws of gravitation, by which all things on or near the 
earth's surface are drawn towards its centre with a force proportional 
to their weight, are further proof of the earth's permanence. Al- 
though the laws of gravitation act universally, yet that which we 
have to speak of concerning them here relates to the earth and its 
neighbor globes of the solar system. We have before endeavored to 
illustrate that the earth is round like a ball; and as we know by 
observation and experience that all things on the side of the earth 
on which we are tend towards its centre, even so all things on the 
side of the earth opposite to us are attracted toward the same centre 
but in a contrary direction. Every point on the earth's surface has 
a point situated directly opposite to it in another hemisphere of the 
earth : thus, we and all around us are attracted towards the earth's 
centre, while those in Australia, directly opposite to us, are attracted 
toward the same centre in a contrary direction. Those also in Cen- 
tral Asia are attracted toward the earth's centre in a direction contrary 
to that in which the people of Brazil are attracted towards the same 


centre ; and those living in Northern Africa and Europe are attracted 
in a direction contrary to that in which the New Zealanders are attract- 
ed. Thus we see all bodies, wherever they are situated on the earth's 
surface, are attracted towards its centre. The force of this attrac- 
tion is found to be the same at all points on the earth's surface, with 
the exception of an exceedingly slight variation at the North and 
South Poles. This being so there are equal and opposite forces in 
operation at all points on the earth's surface, which produces a nega- 
tion ; for equal and opposite forces acting on the same plane, produce 
a negative result. Now, as every point on the earth's surface has a 
corresponding point directly opposite to it on the other side of the 
earth, and as there are two forces connecting these two points respect- 
ively with the earth's centre which are equal and acting directly 
opposite to each other, these forces may be conceived to meet on 
opposite sides of a plane, situated at right angles to their direction, 
and to produce a negative result, that is, no result beyond nullifying 
each other.* These two forces represent any two equal and opposite 
forces, or any number of equal and opposite forces acting towards the 
earth's centre, and from this the conclusion appears evident that the 
earth as a whole, or any analogous co-existing body in space, has, of 
itself, no weight. It may, therefore, truly be said that there are no 
forces of attraction connecting the surface of the earth with its cen- 
tre, except that by which lighter bodies have to yield to heavier ones. 
This, however, is a definite force, well-known, and acting uniformly 
and universally. The earth's elements, and consequently itself, are 
so constituted as to be in equilibrium ; and the reason why bodies in 
its atmosphere tend towards its surface, and those on its surface to- 
wards its centre is because their specific gravity is greater than the 
medium in which they are ; and because the interior and centre of 
the earth are made up of weightier materials than its exterior parts. 
Put a piece of iron into water, and it sinks to the bottom ; put a 
piece of wood in, and it floats on the top ; because the weight, that is, 
the specific gravity of the iron, is greater than its own bulk of water 
and that of the wood lighter. Elevate a solid body of any kind in 
the air, and having nothing to support it, it falls to the earth, because 
its weight is greater than that of its own bulk of air. In one sense, 
therefore, gravity means the same as weight, and the word gravitas is 

* This conclusion, you see, corresponds to the conclusions we have come to as to the motions 
and shows that, at least apparently, gravitation means nothing beyond what we here explain a: 
to the invariable descent or approach of lighter bodies towards heavier ones, or of the rarer to 
the more dense, or of the less attractive to the more attractive, as the loadstone. That Gravi- 
tation, as Light, Heat, Magnetism, Motion, &c., is a modification of the one general substance 
or an effect of the one great agency, is here quite apparent. We give a more simple illustra- 
tion of it farther on under the head of the " Attraction of Gravitation." 

THE earth's existence. 41 

the Latin for the English word weight. It may seem strange to some 
that the earth, being round like a ball, should have the faculty of 
drawing bodies towards itself at every point of its surface; for, if a 
solid body be elevated in the air at a point of the earth directly 
opposite to that which we occupy, the body falls to its surface, as 
with us ; and if iron or wood be there thrown into the water, the 
one will sink and the other float, as with us. Now it is known 
beyond all doubt, that all bodies possess the power of attraction in 
proportion to the quantity of matter they contain. Some bodies, as 
the loadstone, possess it even in a greater degree. It is plain, there- 
fore, that the earth being so much larger than any body on or near 
its surface, possesses the power of attracting them to itself at every 
point on its surface. This power, however, is not limited in its 
action by the earth's surface, but extends into the atmosphere and 
far into space. It is the earth's attraction which retains the moon in 
its orbit round the earth; and it is the sun's attraction which retains 
the earth and moon in their orbit round the sun ; and, conversely, it 
is the attraction of the earth and moon and all the planets which 
retains the sun in his position and orbit in space. The attraction, 
therefore, is mutual between all bodies in space, and in the main acts 
in proportion to their several weights. Bodies, however small, at or 
near the earth's surface, attract the earth in proportion to their weight ; 
but the earth being so much weighter than any of these, their attrac- 
tion is as nothing compared with the earth's, and, therefore, all these 
small forces yield to the attraction of the earth. The earth, also, 
being nearly fifty times larger than the moon, exerts on the latter a 
proportional attraction, and thus retains it in its orbit round the earth, 
and prevents it from flying off into space in a tangential direction, 
which that bodj'', as all other globes in space, has a tendency to do, 
if not counteracted by the superior weight of other bodies. And the 
sun being over 1,300,000 times larger than the earth, and consider- 
ably larger than all the known planets of his system taken together, 
exerts a balancing power over all these bodies. It is plain, therefore, 
that all these bodies are in equilibrium, and that the principle of 
attraction may be resolved into that of the maintenance of equilibrium, 
and of the stability of order. The universe, though it may be considered 
as one great whole, is constituted of different parts, and these parts 
of different elements, all of the same general substance, but in differ- 
ent degrees of density and rarity. The earth, though composed of 
three elements, solid, liquid, and aeriform, each of which fills its own 
place and performs its own functions in the earth's economy, may be 
called a unit ; and each of these constituent parts may be called 
unit in relation to the constitution of the earth ; but yet the earth is 


onh" a member of universal existence, filling its own place, and per- 
forming its own functions, a^ the other members are. 

We have mentioned before with what regularity the earth and the 
heavenly bodies move. This regularity and precision is not greater 
than that which governs bodies falling towards the earth's surface. 
Small bodies will not fall to the earth unless they be within the 
sphere of the earth's attraction. By this we mean that there are 
parts of space in which the earth's attraction is nothing. The sun, 
moon, and each of the planets has a sphere of attraction of its own. 
But then, there are spaces intermediate of these bodies, which do not 
come within their spheres of attraction in any sensible degree. There, 
as we have before remarked, the ether is in equilibrium. Xot that the 
attraction of each of these bodies is not exerted on each of the others, 
but that their contrary attractions, counteracting each other, produce 
equilibrium in certain parts of the space intermediate of these bodies. 

The attraction of gravity, and the dispersion of light and heat, are 
analogous in their operation. The force of all these decreases with 
the square of the distance from the centre of action. Suppose you 
are reading at a certain distance from a candle, and that you receive 
a certain quantity of light on your book, if you remove to double 
that distance from the candle you will enjoy four times less light 
than you had before ; here, then, though you have but doubled your 
distance, you have diminished your light four-fold, because four is 
the square of two. If, instead of doubling your distance from the 
candle, you remove to three, four, five, or six times the distance from 
it, you will then receive at these different distances, nine, sixteen, 
twenty-five, or thirty-six times less light than you did at first, for 
these, respectively, are the squares of the numbers three, four, five, 
six. The same is applicable to the heat imparted by a fire, at a dis- 
tance of two yards, from which a person will enjoy four times less 
heat than one who sits at one yard from it, and at three yards dis- 
tance nine times less heat, and so on decreasing with the square of 
the distance from the fire. And if a body is removed to double the 
distance from the centre of gravity, the attraction exerted on it is 
one-fourth ; if to three times the distance, it is one-ninth ; if to fotir 
times the distance, one-sixteenth, and so on decreasing as the squares 
of the distances increase. 

All bodies have their centres of gravity or points about which all 
their parts are balanced. The earth's centre of gravity is its centre. 
The differences of the power of the earth's atti-action are not discern- 
ible at short distances from its surface, owing to the distance of the 
latter from the centre of gravity. But it is determined that, could 
we ascend 4000 miles from its surface, or double the distance of the 



surface from the centre, we should there find the attractive force to 
be one-fourth of what it is here ; or, for example, that a body, which 
at the earth's surface weighs one pound, would, at 4000 miles above 
the earth, weigh but a quarter of a pound. By the most accurate 
observations the moon is found to be obedient to the same laws of 
attraction as other heavy bodies are. Its mean distance is clearly 
ascertained to be about 240,000 miles, or equal to about sixty semi- 
diameters of the earth, and, of course, the earth's attraction on the 
moon ought to diminish in the proportion of the square of this dis- 
tance, that is, it ought to be sixty times sixty, or 3600 times less at 
the moon than it is at the earth's surface. This is found to be the 
case by the measure of the deviation of its course from a right line. 
Bodies near the earth's surface, when left free to descend, fall at the 
rate of sixteen feet in the first second of time ; but as the attraction 
of gravity is continually acting, so the body continues to fall with 
an increasing, or, as it is usually called, an accelerating velocity. It 
has been determined, by the most accurate experiments, that a body 
falling from a considerable height, by the force of gravity, falls six- 
teen feet in the first second; three times sixteen feet in the next ; 
five times sixteen feet iir the third ; seven times sixteen feet in the 
fourth, and so on, constantly increasing according to the odd numbers, 
one, three, five, seven, nine, etc. By reason of the centrifugal force, 
that is, the force which impels the earth in its orbit, the distance 
fallen in the first second varies a little in different latitudes. 

The following rule holds in all cases as to falling bodies : that the 
spaces they describe when falling freely from a state of rest increase 
as the squares of the times increase. Or, the following formulae with 
respect to falling bodies will convey a clearer idea of the uniformity 
with which this law acts: 


Space passed over in a 

Velocity at end of 

Total space passed over to 
end of second. 













1 = 1- 
4 = 2-! 
9 = 32 
16 = 42 
25 = 52 
36 = 62 
49 = 72 

If, after the demonstration of the uniformit}^ of the action of gravity, 
any one should be puzzled to understand how it is that while the 
earth is continually rolling round like a ball, it retains all things in 
connection with it to its surface, they should remember that we con- 
stantly meet with illustrations of this force. A can, filled with water 
may be swung round the head without a drop being spilt. When 


the can is at its highest point, and therefore has its mouth downwards, 
the water is attracted towards the earth; but this attraction is more 
than overcome by the centrifugal force, or the force of the hand by 
which the can is swung, and hence it remains in the can as if it were 
solid. It does not lose a particle of its water. Some persons are 
worried because they say they cannot understand this with regard to 
the earth, but the same persons hardl}^ ever consider how it is that 
flies and other insects walk upon a perpendicular pane of glass or 
upon the ceiling over their heads. Does this not seem as inexplic- 
able as the other ? 

But something has, at least, been adduced to show the probability 
of the permanency of the cosmos, constituted in general as to pheno- 
mena of form, motion, elements, &c., as it is now. Nothing can be 
brought forward to prove the contrary of that probability; and if 
any one attempted to prove such contrary, it would be well for him 
to prove how it came into existence, how it attained its present 
general constitution as to elements, forms, motions, &c. ; how it is 
maintained in this constitution, where, in short, it came from, and as 
we may suppose such a one would hold the doctrine of its final 
destruction, where it is going to, and when ? 

We have shown heretofore that matter and spirit are the same 
thing * in different states as to density and rarity ; that the most 
solid substances can be reduced to an aeriform state, and it is of the 
same essence in the gaseous form as it is in the solid. In the one 
case it is condensed, in the other expanded ; in the one case it is 
the solid, tangible substance, in the other the intangible, invisible 
gas. Spirit, from the Latin word sjyirare, to breathe, from which our 
words inspire, expire, etc., are derived, means that which we breathe, 
or breath. The Greek word for the same thing is --.luud, wind, or 
breath, from which our technical word, pneumatics, is derived, mean- 
ing the science which treats of wind or air. Also, the Hebrew word, 
translated into our language, spirit, means air or wind ; as for instance 
in the second verse of the first chapter of Genesis, it says, the Spirit 
of God moved upon the face of the waters, which equals, the wind 
of God moved upon the face of the waters. The difference be- 
tween spirit and matter, then, is onl}^ one of degree of densit}^ and 
rarity of substance; it is the same substance in two different 
states; in the one state in a form to be breathed, in the other in a 
form too dense to be breathed. We do not mean to say that air 
derived from the reduction of any and every solid substance to a 

(*) Mind, as it relates to man, is properly called a development from matter or from spirit; 
but mind is really infinite and universal as is deity. The soul as applied to man means the Liv- 
ing, conscious, rational human heing, and in a wider sense the principle of life iu man. 


gaseous form would be fit to be breathed by human beings and all 
the animal creation ; we mean only that it would be air or wind (for 
wind is air in a state of motion) just as much air as is the atmosphere 
which surrounds us. We do not mean to say that the solid parts of 
the earth, or even water, are intended to be reduced to air and 
breathed ; indeed their very constitution, and the purposes they fulfil 
in the production and support of animals and vegetables, indicate 
different. The atmosphere is that one constituent element of our 
terrestrial system, which is intended to be breathed. Each of the 
three constituent elements of our system has its own purpose to fulfil, 
and yet they are all three mutually helpful to each other. The 
atmosphere and water may be called the servants of the solid earth. 
The earth needs air and water as well as the solar light in order to 
the production and support of vegetables and animals. The earth 
also supplies oxygen to the atmosphere, and absorbs the impurities 
with which that element becomes impregnated. This operation is per- 
formed by the leaves or lungs of vegetables, which absorb the car- 
bonic acid (*) fi'om the air, retain its carbon to increase the solid 
tissue of their plants, and expire or reject its oxygen, which is the 
vital principle of the air we breathe. The atmosphere, as a sponge, 
sucks up the water from the surface of the ocean, of lakes and rivers, 
and lets it down upon the thirsty earth again in the form of rain. 
This process of imbibing water by the atmosphere is called evaporation. 
These three elements are, as we have before remarked, modifications 
of the same general substance, each so constituted that nothing can 
be added to or taken from it; but they are all three mutually depend- 
ent on each other, as the parts of the human or other animal body are 
dependent on each other. When water is evaporated from the sur- 
face of the ocean, ©f lakes, and of rivers, it is not lost — not a particle of 
it goes beyond the sphere of the earth's attraction; but having 
descended to the earth again as rain, snow, etc., it in due time 
finds its way into the rivers and thence to the ocean. When a tree 
decays, part of it becomes water, part carbonic acid, and part humus 
or clay. When any vegetable or animal body goes to decay, its com- 
ponent parts return eventually to their original elements, earth, 
water, and air. These three elements in the constitution of the ter- 
restrial system form an individual or unit, just as the parts and mem- 
bers of the human body form an individual or unit. 

Matter is defined in general terms to be everything which is an 
object of our senses, and includes the ideas of extension, solidity, inac- 
tivity, and mobility. The theory with respect to the constitution of 
matter hitherto is : that all matter is made up of infinitely small 

(*) Carbonic acid is composed of Carbon and Oxygen. 


particles, called atoms, that is, parts so minute as to be incapable of 
further division ; and that these atoms or ultimate particles are un- 
changeable and indestructible, unless the power which gave them 
existence so effects it. The most minute particles, which, even the 
microscope can only just discern, may contain millions of these 
atoms, so that they must be infinitely beyond the reach of the recog- 
nition of our senses. A molecule (a little mass) which ma}'' be called 
the secondary atom, is the smallest particle capaple of existing by 
itself. This, though it may contain millions of atoms and be undis- 
cernible by the naked eye, is considered the ultimate particle of a 
compound body. For a long time the theory supposed these molecules 
to be round, solid particles, but the expansion and contraction of 
bodies under the influence of light, heat, and electricity had never 
been satisfactorily^ accounted for on this hA'pothesis, nor how solid 
bodies become liquid, and solid and liquid bodies become gasiform. 
The theory, therefore, has for some time supposed that the molecules 
of matter are not solid, but are filled with electricity, as the soap 
bubble is with air, and are, like it, capable of great elastic expansion 
and contraction, and that they are only round like the soap bubble 
when taken singi}', but are polyhedral or manysided over all their 
surfaces of contact, when like the soap bubbles in connection with 
each other, or in clusters. This theory shows how electricity, Avhich 
undoubtedly pervades all bodies, ma}' be contained within the mole- 
cules : and also how electricity, which is undoubtedly capable of 
expanding all bodies, can expand them; and further, how mole- 
cules, which, from extreme contraction are hard, and solid, and 
opaque, may, by extreme expansion and rarefaction, become fluid, 
gaseous, diaphanous, and transparent. It also satisfies the chemical 
requirement of definite atoms for proportional admixtures of different 
elements and their concurrent expansion and contraction Avithin 
definite limits in the compounds they form. 

But let us see from the following illustrations what these mole- 
cules are which are conceived to be filled with electricity, by this 
also seeing the extent to which matter is capable of being subdivided. 

One hundred cubic inches of a solution of common salt will be 
rendered milk}^ by adding to it a cube of silver, each side of which 
measures the ^7^07 °^ ^^^ inch, dissolved in nitric acid. The atoms 
of silver have found their way into every particle of water, and there 
with the salt formed the white chloride of silver, which rendered 
the solution milky ; that is, the small cube of silver has divided itself 
into at least one hundred trillions of parts,* a number which 
the seconds pendulum of a clock would beat in 3,168,969 years ; 

* 100000000000000 , that is, we multiply each of the small cubes by 1000, and divide by the 
31,556,928 ' ' number of seconds in a year. 


and even yet we are not sure that we have approached the meas- 
ure of an atom of silver, we have only reached the limits of our 
power of subdivision. A single grain of gold can be spread into a 
1 >,iif containing 50 square inches, and this leaf muy be readily divided 
into 500,000 parts, each of which is visible to the naked eye ; and, 
1)\- the help of a microscope which magnifies the area of a surface 
100 times, the lOOth part of each of these becomes visible ; that is the 
50 millionth part of a grain of gold will be visible, or a single gram 
of that metal may be divided into fifty millions of visible parts. But 
the gold which covers the silver wire used in making gold lace is 
spread over a much larger surface, yet it preserves, if examined by a 
microscope, a uniform appearance. It has been calculated that a 
single grain of gold under these circumstances would cover a surface 
of nearly thirty square yards. 

If a bar of silver be gilded and then drawn out into a wire, the 
thread may be so fine that the gold covering one foot weighs less than 
the Q-^QQ of a grain ; an inch of this wire will contain the i7-2"o"o o^^ ^^ 
a grain ; this may be divided into 100 jDarts, each visible to the eye, 
and being covered by the y2'oWoo' °^' ^^^® °'^® '^ million 2 hundred 
thousandth part of a grain of gold. Under a microscope, magnify- 
ing 500 times, each of these pieces may be subdivided by the eye 
into 500 parts, the gold retaining its original appearance, and show- 
ing no signs of dividing into its separate atoms ; and yet the par- 
ticle visible to the eye, that which covers the upper part of the wire, 
^^ TFoWoFCo ¥ ^^' ^^^^ *-*^^® seven thousand two hundred millionth of 
a grain. 

If a Dound of silver wire which contains 5760 grains, and a single 
grain of gold be melted together, the gold will be equally diffused 
through the whole silver, insomuch that if one grain of the mass be 
dissolved in aqua fortis, the gold Avill fall to the bottom. By this 
experiment it is evident that a grain of gold may be divided into 
5761 visible parts, for only the 5761st part of the gold is contained 
in a single grain of the mass. 

The diffusibility of parts of natural bodies is still more surprising. 
Odoriferous bodies, such as camphor, musk, and asafoetida are per- 
ceived to have a wonderful subtility of parts ; for though they are 
perpetually filling a considerable space with odoriferous particles, yet 
these bodies are found not to lose any sensible part of their weight 
in a great length of time. 

Again, it is said by those who have examined the subject with 
the best glasses, and whose accuracy of observation is not questioned, 
that there are more animals in the milt of a single codfish, than there 
are men on the whole earth, and that a single grain of sand is larger 


than four millions of those animals. Now if it be admitted that 
these little animals are possessed of organized parts, such as a heart, 
stomach, muscles, veins, arteries, etc., and that they are possessed of 
a complete system of circulating fluids, similar to what is found in 
larger animals, we evidently approach the idea of the infinite reduci- 
bility of matter. It has indeed been calculated that a particle of the 
blood of one of these animalculse is as much smaller than a ci-lobe 
one-tenth of an inch in diameter as that globe is smaller than the 
whole earth. 

Captain Scoresby, in his account of the Greenland Seas, states 
that, in July, 1818, his vessel sailed for several leagues in water of 
a very uncommon appearance. The surface was variegated with 
large patches of a yellowish-green color. It was found to be pro- 
duced by animalculae, and microscopes were applied to examine them. 
In a single drop of the water examined by a power of 28,224 (magni- 
fied superficies) there were fifty in number on an average in each 
squar^e of the micrometer glass of jl^th of an inch in diameter ; and 
as the drop occupied a circle on a plate of glass containing 529 of 
these squares there must have been in this single drop of water taken 
at random out of the sea, and in a place not the most discolored, 
about 26,450 animalculae. How inconceivably minute must the ves- 
sels, organs, and fluids of these animals be ! A whale requires a sea 
to sport in ; a hundred and fifty millions of these would have ample 
scope for their evolutions in a cup of water ! We might adduce 
many more instances of a like kind, but these we doubt not will be 
sufficient to illustrate into what exceedingly minute parts matter is 
capable of being subdivided ; parts so infinitely minute that they are 
evidently a rare fluid or gas, reducible doubtless to as rare a gas as 
the air we breath or to the much more subtile ether. 

And since that all existing things are of a substance reducible to 
a fluid of the same density throughout, it remains to give a name to 
that existence. We have begun this illustration with the proposition 
that there is nothing existing in the universe but spirit, in different 
states of density and rarity. This, according to the literal meaning 
of the word spirit, and the consideration that all existing things are 
of a substance reducible to a state of air, seems to be an appropriate 
term. Others, however, may conceive of a more appropriate term to 
be applied to universal existence and the more appropriate the term 
the more worthy of being applied and universally adopted. Nor do 
we think it proper or just to deprive scientific men of their atomic 
theory, since they regard it as expedient for their purposes ; but for 
our own part we consider chemical affinity to be all that is necessary. 

Affinity, in the language of chemistry, is that force in virtue of 


which two or more substances combine to form a compound body. 
This body exhibits properties different from those of the combining 
elements, and is called a chemical compound. Some substances dis- 
play a greater afQnity for each other than others do. For example, 
if we take a piece of chalk, and put it in a glass of water, in due 
time it will become softened, and if the water be stirred, the chalk 
will render it milky, but no change has taken place, for if it be let 
stand the chalk will sink to the bottom, or, if the water be evapor- 
ated, the chalk may be recovered unaltered. But had a little nitric 
acid been added to the water, bubbles of gas would have arisen to 
the surface, and the water would have become clear. The chalk was 
composed of lime and carbonic acid. The nitric acid having been 
added a combination of it takes place with the chalk, by which car- 
bonic acid gas is set free, and escapes in bubbles from the surface of 
the water. If now the water be evaporated, chalk will no longer be 
found, but a transparent crystallized substance, called the nitrate of 
lime, very different from the lime or the nitric acid of which it is 
composed. Here then is an illustration of chemical affinity, and of 
chemical combination. Chemical action always evolves heat. The 
action which took place when the nitric acid came into contact with 
the chalk Avas analogous to that which takes place when a stick of 
wood is thrown on the fire, in which case heat and flame result, and 
the component parts of the wood enter into new combinations. This 
phenomenon of chemical affinity veiy plainly depends upon the prin- 
ciple of electrical attraction. We have before explained that elec- 
tricity, light, and heat, are the same substance under different modes 
of action and manifestation ; or rather that electricity might be re- 
garded as the element of which light and heat are peculiar manifes- 
tations. This element pervades all bodies, which only require to be 
properly acted upon in order that it be made apparent in heat, or 
light, or both. Before the invention of lucifer matches the black- 
smith, in order to kindle his fire, battered a nail on his. anvil until it 
became red hot. Also, the savage who has no access to the means 
employed by civilized people for making a fire, educes that element 
by rubbing together two sticks of wood. Even water is pervaded by 
the active principle of combustion, and if thrown on a blazing fire in 
insufficient quantity tends not to quench but to strengthen the 
flame. All bodies in their natural condition are supposed to contain 
a certain amount of this electric fluid, and if they possess no more 
and no less than this natural amount they tend to remain in the same 
electric state. But if a body contains more than its natural amount 
it is said to be positively electrified, if less it is said to be negatively 
electrified. When a positively electrified body is brought near or 


in contact with a negatively electrified one, attraction takes place 
between them, and the former discharges its surplus fluid into the 
latter to make up for its deficiency. Thus, thunder is caused by a 
positively electrified cloud coming near a negatively electrified one, 
which it attracts, and discharging into it its surplus electricity ; and 
the lightning is merely a manifestation of the electric fluid itself. 
But what causes the noise, it will be asked, which scares the chil- 
dren ? The noise is caused by the electric discharge rushing through 
the air, and in its course displacing its own volume of the latter, thus 
causing a vacuum which the air from all sides rushes in to fill up. 
This combination of causes produces the thunder, but principally the 
air in rushing in to fill up the vacuum. When two bodies having 
more than their natural share of electricity come near or in contact 
with each other they tend to repel each other. This principle of 
electrical attraction and repulsion satisfactorily explains why some 
substances have a strong inclination to combine with each other chem- 
ically, while others exhibit little or no desire to do so. Now, in the 
example before us, the nitric acid and the chalk attract each other, 
one of the two containing a less amount of electricity than the other ; 
and thus, combining with each other, heat is evolved, and conse- 
quentl}^ gas is set free, and a chemical compound results. But the 
whole process of chemical combination is explainable on the princi- 
ples of equilibrial diffusion of electricity, and the change and recom- 
bination of matter. 

We have already endeavored to illustrate how that not only life 
but intelligence is inherent in all matter. Now that we have resolv- 
ed all matter into spirit it will not be difficult to understand that 
proposition. The mind readily conceives of the principle of life as 
existing in all spirit, though it may not conceive- of it so readily as 
existing in all matter. This, we think, arises in the main from the 
mind being habituated to think in a certain way concerning matter 
and spirit, and from a certain meaning which has been given to the 
word spirit in the ancient world, and especially in the Christian 
world, a meaning- not original or literal, but collateral ; not essential, 
but only attributive. For instance, the word spirit is commonly used 
to express the disposition, inclinations, state of heart or temper of a 
human being, although it is not often thought that the air the individ- 
ual breathes is the literal spirit, or that the human being himself is 
a real, though not in his present state a literal, spirit. Also, the 
Deity is especially spoken of as a spirit, invisible and everywhere 
existing, which is very true, for an infinite being cannot be conceived 
by the mind, much less seen ; and if a being be infinite he must 
be everywhere present ; confessed as a being he cannot be nowhere. 


But as we know that we exist and as we see the works of the Creator 
in nature all round us we know that he exists and exists everywhere. 
But the Deity, as everywhere existing, speaking both from a physi- 
cal and moral point of view, must include bad as well as good, false 
as well as true God. What we have said hitherto with respect to 
the Creator we mean also of the Deity, for the Creator and the Deity 
we understand as synonymous terms for the same Being. The Deity, 
then, though unseen, must comprehend in Himself all that is seen 
to exist, and to be perpetuated in existence, in the two opposite 
aspects of evil and good in which it is seen by us, for the physical as 
well as the moral world presents existence in these two contrary 

Some terrestrial climatal conditions and peculiarities noticed, as well as 
illustrations from the noxious and innoxious portions of the animal 
and vegetable kingdoms. 

In the physical world we have the frigidly cold climates of the 
North and South polar regions, — the regions of eternal snow and ice, 
in which animal life cannot exist, and where if human beings try to 
live for a short season they must suffer the effects of intense, biting 
cold, and be every moment in danger of being frozen to death. We 
have also the parching torrid zone for twenty degrees imxuediately 
north and south of the equator, where men and animals suffer 
almost as much from the effects of the burning heat of a verticle sun, 
as in the polar regions from the effects of the intolerable cold. In 
contrast with these we have the mild climates of the temperate zones, 
where men enjoy the most delightful and refreshing breezes ; 
the most beautiful scenery, and magnificent and sublime prospects 
of creation ; the most lavish abundance of the good and useful pro- 
ductions of the earth, both animal and vegetable ; where nature with 
benignant smile and outstretched hand seems to anticipate the 
various wants of man, and offers him in luxuriant abundance even 
more than his heart desires. 

Certain parts of the earth are subject periodically to violent storms 
and tempests, hurricanes and tornadoes, which often render men life- 
less or homeless, and cause a great deal of terror, inconvenience, and 
damage to the inhabitants of the districts where they prevail. The 
hurricane and tornado are destructive winds that prevail upon the 
American Continent, and in the West India Islands, causing terror 
and often death both to men and the inferior animals. Then there 
are the poisonous winds, the terrible harmattan, and sirocco, and' 
samiel, and simoom, which prevail upon the continent of Africa, and 


in the south-western countries of Asia, causing the inhabitants of 
these countries to quake and hide their heads, as well as often caus- 
ing much destruction to life and property. In contrast with these 
we have the mild and genial breezes of our temperate climates, which 
are favorable to vegetation and to animal health ; and, also, the trade- 
winds and monsoons which enable our seafaring men to navigate 
every sea and ocean, and to waft the products of the earth and of 
the arts from land to land. 

In the animal kingdom we can contemplate the character and dis- 
position displayed by the wild carnivorous animals of the land, the 
lion, the tiger, the hyena, the wolf, the bear, the jackal, the wild-cat, 
etc. ; and the monstrous carnivora of the ocean, as the shark, 
the whale, the porpoise, and others innumerable, about which we 
know nothing. And among the reptile tribes we can contemplate 
the boa constrictor, the rattle-snake, the adder, the alligator, the 
crocodile, the anaconda, etc. ; and also among ravenous birds, the 
eagle, the ostrich, the vulture, the hawk, the raven, etc. And on tlie 
other hand we can contemjjlate the character and disposition of the 
gentle and useful domesticated animals, the sheep, the cow, the horse, 
the goat, the deer, the camel, the dromedary, the tamed elephant, the 
ass, the dog, the cat, the pig ; also, among birds, the pigeon, the hen, 
the goose, the duck, the guinea-hen, etc. 

In the vegetable kingdom we are presented with two varieties, 
noxious and innoxious plants. Poisonous plants are numerous — in- 
deed, they are to be found in most of the species, but some species 
contain many more than others. The order Ranunculacece, for exam- 
ple, of flowering plants, are almost all poisonous, and in some cases 
the poison is so virulent, that death speedily results from swallowing 
a very minute portion of the fruit. More than one poisonous princi- 
ple abounds in this tribe ; but of these the alkali termed by chemists 
aconitum is the most violent. It is a white substance something like 
flour to look at, and so frightfully poisonous that the twentieth part of 
a grain or even less is a fatal dose. Of all the various species of acon- 
itum, that termed aconitum ferox is the most dangerous. This plant 
grows in the Himalaya Mountains, and was on one occasion made 
use of by the natives to rid themselves of their subjugators, the 
English. A few leaves of this plant having been thrown into a Avell 
so poisoned the water, that men or beasts drinking it were almost in- 
fallibly killed. Also, the Poppy tribe, especially cultivated in India, 
is that which supplies the opium which is doing so much to poison 
the Chinese and the Hindoos. Plants belonging to the order Ranun- 
culaceoe are supplied with a watery, acrid, poisonous juice ; but in 
plants of the Poppy tribe the juice is milky, from which milky 


juice the luxury, opium, is expressed. Also, the great natural order 
Umhellifera, or umbrella, bearing plants, are of a dangerously doubt- 
ful character. Their chemical characteristics may be said to depend 
on the presence either of an odorous, volatile oil, or of a poisonous 
matter. Everybody knows how agreeably odorous is caraway seed, 
and most people are aware of the poisonous nature of the hemlock, 
and of the noxious character of the fools' parsley. The advantage 
when one is in an unknown country of being a practical botanist, so 
as to be able to refer a plant to a hannless or noxious kind, is con- 
siderable. It is related that when, during Anson's voyage, his crews 
disembarked in unknown places, the surgeon, fearful of poison, would 
not allow them to partake of any vegetables, except grasses, not- 
withstanding the scurvy was making great ravages among them. 

The greater number if not all the members of the order Cucurli- 
tacoe, or cucumber tribe, contain a bitter poisonous principle, present- 
ing many degrees of intensity. In the colocynth it attains its maxi- 
mum. In the ordinary cucumber the poisonous bitter principle is 
usually but little developed, never to the extent of being danger- 
ous, although frequently enough to be disagreeable. In the melon, 
sugar is the principle secretion, nevertheless, the bitter principle so 
prevalent in the family is present in a small degree ; it exists in the 
outside rind of the fruit, and to a still greater degree in the roots, which 
are violently emetic. Bryonia, another species, is still more violent 
in its poisonous action than the colocynth. Also, nearly all, if not 
all members of the order Solanacece, or night-shade tribe, contain a 
poison of a narcotic kind. To this order belong the common night- 
shade, henbane, tobacco, stramonium, and the mandrake plant. It is 
a highly dangerous family of plants, although one that ministers to 
our sustenance in the potato. Even this is not entirely free from 
poison ; the fruits are notoriously poisonous, and even the juice of 
raw potatoes is highly injurious. The nutritive properties of the 
potato arise from the starch and gluten which it contains being min- 
gled with so little of the poisonous principle, that the latter is de- 
stroyed by the cooking process to which the potatoes are subjected 
before eaten. The egg-plant and tomato belongs to this family ; the 
former is occasionally eaten, the latter frequently and almost uni- 
versally by the Spaniards, and now by the Americans. We may here 
remark that the vegetable substance, starch, is largely diffused 
throughout many poisonous plants, yet when separated from them 
it is invariably harmless. Of this we have a remarkable example in 
tapioca, which is nothing else than the baked starch ex<,racted from 
the trunk of a tree, the jatropha manihot. The juice of this tree is 
so poisonous that they poison arrows with it ; nevertheless, tapioca is 


a delicate article of food. The common deadly night-shade, atropa 
belladonna, grows in shady places, and is an elegant though danger- 
ous-looking plant. We may here remark that, as a general rule, most 
plants having dark-green foliage, and dark-colored flowers are pois- 
onous. The belladonna bears a cherry-like fruit, which is sometimes 
incautiously eaten by children, and too often with a fatal result. In 
1793 some orphans brought up in the Hospice de la Piete at Paris 
were employed in weeding a botanical garden. They happened to be 
attracted by the tempting-looking fruit of the belladonna plant, of 
which they ate a considerable quantity. Fourteen of these unfor- 
tunate children died in consequence only a few hours afterwards. 
This lamentable catastrophe justifies the generic name atropa, from 
Atropos, one of the fates, who was supposed to cut the thread of life. 
The specific name, belladonna, signifies beautiful lady, and is de- 
pendent on the circumstance that the Italian ladies used the distilled 
water of this plant as a cosmetic. They foolishly imagine that it 
improves their complexions. The mandrake is a species very nearly 
allied to the belladonna. It grows in the South of Europe, and in 
dark places. This plant, known and celebrated from times of great 
antiquity, was employed by the sorcerers of ancient days to produce 
narcotism, and disordered vision. Its roots are large, often two- 
pronged, whence its fancied resemblance to the limbs of a man. 
This plant has, from very early periods of history, been regarded with 
much superstitious dread, which has probably arisen partly from its 
poisonous properties, and partly from its large and irregularly shaped 
roots, which at times approximate to the uncouth form of a man. Shake- 
speare writes : " And shrieks the mandrakes torn out of the earth, 
that living mortals hearing them run mad." The notion that pre- 
vailed in days gone by regarding the sounds of complaint uttered by 
the mandrake when being rooted up appears to have been widely 
entertained by the ignorant. Misfortune of the direst kind was be- 
lieved to be the portion of any one bold or rash enough to engage in 
disturbing the mandrake in his earthbed. An old English proverb 
says : " He who gathereth the mandrake shall die ; blood for blood is 
his destinie." It is supposed that the mandrakes mentioned in some 
parts of the Old Testament were not the same as the plant known to 
us by this name, but that under this term reference is had to the 
fragrant but insipid fruit of the Cucumis Dudaim, a plant which is 
cultivated in the gardens of the East for the odor it exhales. The 
mandrake is also confounded with the sleep-apple, a mossy excres- 
cence on the wild rose, which when laid under the pillow was sup- 
posed not to allow any one to wake until it was taken away. This 
property of stupefying doubtless arose from its narcotic properties. 


Henbane is a European plant belonging to this genua under con- 
sideration. It is a biennial plant, and grows amidst the ruins of 
buildings, in the neighborhood of habitations. Its stem is studded 
with a cotton-like substance, and it constantly exhales a repulsive 
odor. Its corolla is palish yellow, veined with purple. It owes its 
peculiar properties to the presence of a peculiar alkali. Its action is 
far less powerful than that of belladonna ; nevertheless it may cause 
death if eaten. A German physician relates that, on a certain occa- 
sion, the Benedictine monks of the convent of Rhinon were presented 
with a salad in which the root of chicory, as was thought, had been 
placed. Instead, however, of being of chicory the root was of henbane. 
After the repast the monks went to bed. Symptoms of poisoning 
soon commenced ; the monks were all stupefied. The time for matins 
or morning prayers arrived, and one monk was so fast asleep that his 
fellows supposed him to be dying, and under this impression admin- 
istered to him extreme unction. The other monks went to chapel, 
but they had much better have stayed away ; some of them could not 
even open their eyes, much less read. The vision of others was so 
disordered that they thought insects were crawling on their books, 
and employed themselves in blowing and brushing the intruders off. 
Others instead of praying uttered nonsense. In the end all the 
monks got well, even the one supposed to be dead ; but one poor in- 
dividual, a tailor, could not thread his needle for a long time after- 
wards, so disordered was the state of his vision. Instead of one 
needle the tailor saw three, and as he could not tell the real needle 
from its ghostlike duplicates, there was slight chance of his threading 
it. This anecdote illustrates better than any mere description the 
physiological action of henbane. 

The stramonium is another plant of the Night-shade order. It 
was unknown to the ancient Greeks and Romans, but is now common 
in Europe, having been brought from Central Asia in the Middle 
Ages by the wandering gipsies. Its active principle is called daturine^ 
•which exists in the leaves and in the seeds. This principle is a po- 
tent narcotic alkaloid, resembling in its quality and the effects it pro- 
duces the alkaloids yielded by the henbane and belladonna. It 
is a deadly poison, and among the most striking of its properties may 
be named the effect it produces on the pupil of the eye, namely, that 
of causing it to dilate strongly. Nevertheless the stramonium, or 
the thorn-apple as it is sometimes called, like many other poisonous 
plants, has its beneficial uses. In Cochin China a decoction made of 
its leaves is considered an effectual remedy for hydrophobia, the ter- 
rible malady resulting from the bite of a mad dog ; but this by some 
is considered very doubtful. In small quantities daturine is very 


Useful as a pain-soother or anodyne, and as an antispasmodic. Persons 
suffering' from asthma have found • relief from smoking the dried 
-leaves of the plant, or inhaling an infusion made by pouring boiling 
water on the seeds or leaves. Great care, however, should be used 
lest the patient take an overdose. Tobacco is another plant belong- 
inor to this natural order, and the use or abuse of which is too ■well 
Icnown to require comment here. 

The order Euphorhiacece, to which the castor-oil plant belongs, is 
mainly made up of very dangerous plants. The greater number of 
its species contain a milky, acrid, and poisonous juice, which often 
holds dissolved, in addition to other principles, a peculiar elastic sub- 
stance, and occasionally a coloring matter. The species Euphorbice, 
the type of this natural order, presents an aspect of great variety. 
The mancliineel is a large tree of intertropical America, celebrated 
for its peculiarly poisonous qualities. If accounts are to be trusted 
it is certain death for an individual to sleep under the shade of one 
of this species ; and even rain which touches th.e skin after ha^'ing 
fallen upon the leaves of this tree raises a blister. The manchineel 
tree also bears tempting looking fruit, from which an agreeable odor 
is exhaled, but even a small portion if eaten produces certain death. 

The order called Loganiaceoe is also largely represented by poison- 
ous plants. The sub-family strychnos contains the most remarkable 
species of this natural order. The greater number possess in their 
bark and seeds two alkaline principles, termed respectively strychnine 
and brucine. The action of these on the animal organism is ex- 
tremely violent. The Strychnos-tiente is a climbing plant of the 
Javanese forest, with the juice of which the natives poison their 
arrows. It is the famous Upas and is often confounded with another 
Javanese vegetable poison, obtained from the Antiaris Toxicaria, a 
tree belonging to tbe natural family Artocarpeae. The ourari, or 
wourali, is also a poison furnished by another member of the same 
natural family, the strychnos toxifera, a native of Guiana. The In- 
dians who dwell on the banks of the Orinoco, the Ipura and the Rio 
Negro, employ this suljstance as a poison for their arrows. The nux 
vomica tree, or koochla tree of India, is perhaps the most valuable of 
this tribe, furnishing an alkaloid, strychnine, very poisonous, but of 
cfreat use in medicine. 

The natural order Apocynacese, which name Greek scholars will 
recognize, and is significant of the dog-killing power of certain of 
its species, is also a dangerous tribe. The plants belonging to this 
order are usually trees or shrubs, seldom herbs, and for the most part 
containing a milky juice. This natural order is rather fi-equent in 
tropical climates, but the number of species is very inconsiderable in 


our latitudes. The milky, acrid and bitter juice which flows, from 
many of these plants imparts to the family an emetic and purgative 
tendency which in some species is deleterious. The bark of many 
of the dog-banes contains a bitter astringent principle; in other spe- 
cies a tinctorial matter predominates. The seeds of many genera are 
poisonous. Many species of the genus cerbera, as well Asiatic as 
American, possess narcotic acrid seeds, sometimes poisonous, but 
Tiseful as a remedy for the bites of serpents. The cerbera ahouai 
secretes an exceedingly poisonous juice, which is emploj'ed in Brazil 
for the purpose of stupefying fish. The poisonous tanghin is a native 
of Madagascar, about thirty feet in height, yielding a dropaceous 
fruit which contains an oily seed, and is employed by the natives 
judicially in the trials by poison. The accuser makes his complaint 
to the judge, who refers it to an official denominated the ampanan- 
ghin, and whose office is the double one of priest and executioner. 
If sufficient presumptive evidence of crime is forthcoming, the tan- 
ghin is administered and the guilt or innocence of the accused is 
judged by the result. If he recover from the effects of the poison 
he is declared innocent. If he die he is considered guilty and his 
goods are forfeited. Even the natural order of endogenous plants to 
which the grasses and cereals belong is not without its poisonous 
species. The darnel grass is strongly poisonous owing to the pres- 
ence of the chemical principle loline. Festuca quadredentata, a 
species which grows abundantly in Peru, is mortal to cattle which. 
graze upon it. Another species balmogrostis, is juiceless, and, when 
swallowed by animals, injures their throats, rather on account of the 
flinty matter with which it is profusely coated than because of any 
poisonous principle it contains. The orders here mentioned contain 
each many genera, species, and varieties, and what Ave have adduced 
as to poisonous vegetables gives only a very general idea of their 
number and varieties in the vegetable kingdom. 

But this abstract from the vegetable kingdom concerning noxious 
plants, together with what we have shown concerning the climatic 
conditions and changes of the earth, and the character of the savage 
carnivorous portion of the animal kingdom, should be fully sufficient 
to show the fallacy that underlies the effort of Dr. Dick and others 
to demonstrate that the earth and all things were created for the 
especial use and benefit of mankind. 

Having taken a glance at the noxious portion of the vegetable 
world, it will be proper, for the purpose of contrast, to give a passing 
notice to the innoxious portion of it. With this part of the vegetar 
ble kingdom people are better acquainted than they are with the 
other. In this part are contained the plants which furnish. the food for 


the human race and for the inferior orders of animals. It will not be 
necessary, therefore, to give any extended description of it; for what 
everybody knows to some extent, or may know extensively by a 
little observation, they need not be told about in detail in such a treat- 
ise as this. 

All seed-bearing plants are classed by botanists under the two 
general natural divisions of exogenous plants, or those which grow or 
increase by external depositions of their substance ; and endoge- 
nous plants, or those which grow or increase by internal depositions 
of their substance. Of the former class tlie oak, the elm, and most 
large trees are specimens ; of the latter the palm tree, the bamboo, 
the sugar cane and a stalk of wheat, rye or oats may serve as speci- 
mens. Most of the vegetables which minister to our sustenance be- 
long to the endogenous division. Thus, all the species of grasses 
are endogenous. The smaller species clothe our fields with verdure 
and afford nourishment to cattle ; the larger species furnish us with 
bread and sugar, for the reader may remember that not only the spe- 
cies commonly called grass which the cattle graze upon, but wheat, 
barley, rice, maize, oats, rye, and even the sugar-cane, the bamboo, 
and the palm-tree, are, botanically considered, grasses. Is it not 
wonderful that mankind subsists chiefly on grass! LinnfEus, the 
celebrated Swedish naturalist, has remarked that the cow eats 27 (j 
species of plants, and rejects 218 ; the goat eats 449, and rejects 126 ; 
the sheep eats 347, and rejects 141 ; the horse eats 262, and rejects 
212 ; and the hog, more nice in its taste than any of the rest, eats 
but 72, and rejects all the rest. Whether these animals reject certain 
plants on account of certain poisonous principles which the}^ possess, 
or simply because of a peculiar nicety of taste in themselves, we 
shall leave to be determined by others. 

Grasses are not excluded from any quarter of the globe, but the 
number of individuals, though not of species, is greatest in the north- 
ern temperate regions ; also, they have become so transported from 
one region of the earth ^ another, that it seems now quite impossi- 
ble to determine Avith certainty the native regions of many species. 
Oats and rye are mostly cultivated towards the north ; barley and 
wheat in more temperate regions ; maize is a staple product of America, 
and rice of Asia. The seed or rather the fruit of these afford suste- 
nance to the greater portions of the human race. The analogy of 
the chemical composition of grasses as well as their external charac- 
ters indicates their mutual affinities pointing out the whole family as 
essentially nutritive vegetables. The grain or seed contains starch 
or gluten in abundance, mixed with a certain quantity of sugar, the 
amount of which increases toward the period of germination ; they 


also contain a little fixed oil and various saline matters. Innocuity 
and the presence of nutritive principles are the grand characteristics 
of grasses physiologically considered. The sugar-cane is supposed 
to be a native of South-eastern Asia. It was unknown to the ancient 
Greeks and Romans, as also was sugar. From South-eastern Asia 
the cane was introduced into Arabia, and it thence was introduced 
into Egypt, Asia-Minor, Sicily, Italy, and Spain. From the latter 
country it was transported to St. Domingo and the mainland of 
America. It is cultivated to a considerably large extent and fur- 
ishes much to the benefit of the human race. The corn-bearing 
grasses are appropriately denominated cereals, or plants of Ceres, the 
goddess of corn, among the ancient Greeks and Romans. Amongst 
these wheat takes the first rank. It is more nutritive than any of 
the others, and is adapted to climes and tracts of greater diversity 
of character. Rice may be correctly described as a tropical water- 
grass, the conditions necessary to its growth being a hot atmosphere, 
and a swampy soil. These conditions exist in Asia, where rice is 
cultivated to a large extent, and in the southern temperate and tropi- 
cal climates of America. The conditions necessary to the growth of 
rice are unfavorable to the health of man. The palm tree is a plant 
which furnishes a number of useful products, such as oil, wine, dates, 
cocoa, nuts, hemp, astringent matter, sugar, and spirit ; also an excel- 
lent fruit is furnished by the banana a species of palm tree. The 
maple tree affords a large amount of sugar to the people of the Uni- 
ted States and Canada, who prepare and use that article to a great 
extent. The various species of apple tree furnish a fruit which is 
used in a variety of forms for human food. Also, the various species 
of peaches, plums, cherries, gooseberries, prunes, apricots, pineapples, 
strawberries, raspberries, currants, grapes, etc., as well as the various 
species of wild fruits, too numerous indeed to mention here, and of 
a wholesome nature, all afford their stores of nutritive food for the 
sustenance of man. Also, if we enumerate the roots, bulbs, and tu- 
bers, which are cultivated by the farmer and gardener, such as pars- 
nips, carrots, beets, turnips, potatoes, etc., we shall find that a large 
store is furnished from this source, also, for the maintenance of man 
and beast. 

If we enumerate the forest trees we have the various species of 
the oak, fir, pine, cedar, ash, larch, walnut, hickory, elm, birch, 
hemlock, etc., which all contribute to supply man's wants, if not in 
the way of food, yet in other important ways. 

Then there are the various species of flowering plants which 
adorn the fields and gardens, which are not of a poisonous nature, 
and which add such varied and diversified beauties to the prospect 


before us. During the summer season, when all nature is clothed 
with verdure, when the trees and plants are blooming with flowers 
and blossoms of varied hue, when the birds are warbling their 
melodious notes, when the various species of corn are growing and 
ripening in the fields, when the various kinds of domestic animals are 
seen to gambol and frolic about the lawns, and nature seems to 
smile benignantly in bringing fortli an abundant supply for the wants 
of all her animate offspring, then does not our earth seem a present 
heaven ! 

Illustrations from the character and practices of the Races of Mankind : 
first, from the Savage and Semi-civilized races. 

If we take a survey of the various tribes of mankind we find a 
great variety of character and disposition displayed. The two 
extremes of evil and good are here comprised. Man is undoubtedly 
the most savage and brutal of all terrestrial animals, but is suscepti- 
ble of becoming the most gentle, kind and iutelligent. In dealing 
with this part of our subject we shall first take a glance at the state 
of the uncivilized races of mankind, and at those nations by whom 
terrible scenes of barbarity are wont to be enacted and terrible deeds 
of atrocity are wont to be perpetrated, and then we shall take a 
glance at the races called civilized, both of the past and present. 

Contemplate with us the character and disposition of savage 
tribes, of the New Zealanders, the South Sea Islanders, the Austra- 
lian Bushmen, the Caffres, and numerous other African tribes; of the 
numerous nations of Indians of North and South America, of the 
ancient Mexicans, and of the Asiatic tribes of Huns, Tartars, etc., 
and what a horrid and disgusting picture of human cruelty, brutality, 
barbarism, and savage malignancy will be presented to the mind. 
The most prominent feature which appears in the character of 
savage nations is their disposition for war, and to inflict revenge for 
real or supposed injuries. The dismal effects of the principle of 
hatred directed toward human beings, the disposition to be engaged 
in war continually, and the savage ferocity of the human mind when 
unrestrained by moral and prudential considerations, are no where more 
strikingly displayed than in the islands scattered through the wide 
expanse of the Pacific and Indian oceans. Of the truth of those 
positions we have but too many melancholy examples, in the reports of 
missionaries and in the journals which have been published by 
navigators, from which we select a few. The first instance we shall 
adduce relates chiefly to the inhabitants of New Zealand. Captain 
Cook remarks in relation to those islanders : " Their public conten- 


tions are frequent, or rather perpetual ; for it appears, from their 
number of weapons and dexterity in using them, that war is their 
principal profession. The war-dance consists of a great variety of 
violent motions and hideous contortions of the limbs, during which 
the countenance also performs a part ; the tongue is frequently thrust 
out to an incredible length, and the eyelid so forcibly drawn up, 
that the white appears both above and below as well as on each side 
of the iris, so as to form a circle around it ; nor is any thing neglected 
so as to render the human shape frightful and deformed. To such 
as have not been accustomed to such a practice they appear more 
like demons than men, and would almost chill the boldest with fear ; 
at the same time they brandish their spears, shake their darts, and 
cleave the air with their patoopatoos. To this succeeds a circum- 
stance almost foretold in their fierce demeanor, horrid and disgraceful 
to human nature, Avhich is cutting to pieces, even before being per- 
fectly dead, the bodies of their enemies, and after dressing them on 
a fire, devouring the flesh, not only without reluctance, but with 
peculiar satisfaction." One cannot well conceive a more striking 
idea of the workings of pure malevolence, and of the rage and fury 
of infernal fiends, than the picture here presented of those savage 
islanders. These people, so far as European power and civilization 
has not reached them, live under perpetual apprehension of being de- 
stroyed by each other ; there being few of these tribes who have not, 
as they believe, received wrong from some other tribe, which they 
are continually on the watch to avenge, and the desire of a good 
meal is no small incitement. " Many years will sometimes elapse 
before a favorable opportunity happens, but the son never loses sight 
of an injury that has been done his father. Their method of exe- 
cuting their horrible designs is by stealing upon the adverse party in 
the night, and if they find them unguarded, which is very seldom 
the case, they kill every one indiscriminately, not even sparing the 
women and children. When the massacre is completed they either 
feast and gorge themselves on the spot, or carry off as many of the 
dead bodies as they can, and devour them at home with acts of bru- 
tality too shocking to be described. If they are discovered before 
they execute their bloody purpose, they generally steal off again, and 
are sometimes pursued and attacked by the other party in their turn. 
To give quarter or to take prisoners make no part of their military 
law, so that the vanquished can save their lives only by flight. This 
perpetual state of war, and destructive method of conducting it, ope- 
rates so strongly in producing habits of circumspection, that one 
hardly ever finds a New Zealander off his guard, either by night or 
by day." The implacable hatred which these savages entertain for 


each other is illustrated in the following short narrative, also by Cap- 
tain Cook. " Among our occasional visitors was a chief called Ka- 
hoora, who, as I was informed, headed the party that cut off Cap- 
tain Furneaux's people, and himself killed Mr. Dowe, the officer who 
commanded. To judge of the character of Kahoora from what I 
heard from many of his countrymen he seemed to be more feared 
than beloved among them. Not satisfied with telling me that he 
was a very bad man, some of them even importuned me to kill him, 
and I believe they were not a little surprised that I did not listen to 
them, for, according to their ideas of equity, this ought to have been 
done. But if I had followed the advice of all our pretended friends, 
I might have extinguished the whole race ; for the people of each 
village or hamlet by turns applied to me to destroy the others. One 
would have almost thought it impossible that so strildng a proof 
of the divided state in which these people lived could have been 

Similar dispositions are displayed by the inhabitants of almost all 
the other islands of the South Seas. The influence of Christianity 
does not as yet prevail very extensively among them. The following 
description is given by M. de la Perouse of the inhabitants of Ma- 
ouna Orjolava, and the other islands in the Navigator's Archipel- 
ago : — " Their native ferocity of countenance always expresses either 
surprise or auger. The least dispute among them is followed by 
blows of sticks, clubs, or paddles, and often, without doubt, costs the 
combatant's their lives." With regard to the women he remarks : — 
" The gross eifronter}- of their conduct, the indecency of their mo- 
tions, and the disgusting offers which they make of their favors ren- 
dered them fit mothers and wives for the ferocious beings that sur- 
rounded us. 

The natives of New Caledonia are a race of a similar description- 
Captain Cook describes them as apparently a good-natured people, 
but subsequent navigators have found them to be the very reverse 
of what he described them, — as ferocious in the extreme, addicted to 
cannibalism, and to every barbarity shocking to human nature. The 
French navigator, the Admiral D'Entrecasteaux, in his intercourse 
with these people received undoubted proof of their savage disposi- 
tion, and of their being accustomed to eat human flesh. Speaking 
of one of the natives who had visited his ship, and had described the 
various practices connected with cannibalism, he says : " It is diffi- 
cult to depict the ferocious avidity with which he expressed to us 
that the flesh of their unfortunate victims was devoured by them 
after they had broiled it on the coals. This cannibal also let us 
know that the flesh of the arms and legs was cut into slices, and that 


they considered the most muscular parts a very agreeable dish. It 
was then easy for us to explain why they frequently felt our arms 
and legs, manifesting a violent longing; they then uttered a faint 
whistling which they produced by closing their teeth, and applying 
to them the tip of the tongue ; afterwards opening their mouth they 
smack their lips several times in succession. The characters of the 
islanders now described may be considered as common to the inhab- 
itants of the New Hebrides, the Friendly Islands, the Marquesas, the 
Sandwich Islands, New Guinea, New Britain, the Ladrones, and 
almost all the islands that are scattered through the vast expanse of 
the Pacific Ocean. Mr. Williams, a missionary to the Fijian canni- 
bals, remarks among other things : " Some captives who had been, 
stunned by the fearful blows of their heavy war clubs were cast into 
hot ovens, and when the fierce heat brought them back to con- 
sciousness and urged them to fearful struggles to escape, the loud 
laughter of the spectators bore witness to their joy at the scene." 
Captain Cook, in describing the natives of New Zealand, again re- 
narks : " The inhabitants of the other islands of the South Seas 
nave not even the ideas of indecency with respect to any object or 
JO any action." Of the natives of Otaheite he declares : " They are 
.1 arrant thieves, and can pick pockets with the dexterity of the 
most expert London blackguard." When describing the societies 
distinguished by the name of Arreoy he declares as a characteristic 
of the female part of the community : " If any of the women happen 
to be with child, which in this manner of life happens less frequent- 
ly than in ordinary cases, the poor infant is smothered the moment 
it is born, that it may be no incumbrance to the father, nor interrupt 
the mother in the pleasures of her diabolical prostitution." Another 
circumstance mentioned by the same navigator exhibits their former 
moral character in a still more shocking point of view. On the ap- 
proach of war with any of the neighboring islands, or on other im- 
portant occasions, human sacrifices were a universal practice. 
" When I described," says Captain Cook, " the Native at Tongaba- 
too, I mentioned that on the approaching sequel of that festival we 
had been told that ten men were to be sacrificed. This may give us 
an idea of the extent of the religious massacres on that island. And, 
though we should suppose that never more than one person is saci-i- 
ficed on any single occasion at Otaheite, it is more than probable 
that these occasions happened so frequently as to make a shocking 
waste of the human race, for I counted no less than forty-nine skulls 
of former victims lying before the Moral, where we saw one more 
added to the number. And, as none of these skulls had as yet suf- 
fered any considerable change from the weather, it may be inferred 


that no great length of time had elapsed since this considerable 
number of unhappy wretches had been offered on the altar of blood." 
He likewise informs us that human sacrifices were more frequent in 
the Sandwich than in the other islands. "These horrid rites," says 
he, " are not only had recourse to upon the commencement of war 
and preceding great battles, and other signal enterprises, but the 
death of any considerable chief calls for the sacrifice of one or more 
tow-tows, that is, vulgar or low persons, according to his rank, and 
we were told that ten men were destined to suffer on the death of 
Terreeoboo, one of their great chiefs. 

With respect to the North American Indians (who have now 
almost disappeared from the Eastern States and Canada) it is the 
uniform description given of them by all who have travelled or lived 
among them in their wild state that, if we except hunting, war is the 
only employment of the men, and every other concern is left to the 
women. Their most common motive for entering into war is either 
to revenge themselves for the death of some friend, or to acquire 
prisoners who may assist them in their hunting and whom they 
adopt into their society. In these wars they are savage and cruel to 
an incredible degree. They enter unawares the villages of their 
foes, and while the floAver of the nation are engaged in hunting, 
massacre all the children, women, and helpless old men, or make 
prisoners of as many as they can manage. But, when the enemy is 
apprised of their design, and is coming on in arms against them they 
throw themselves flat on the ground among the withered herbs and 
leaves which their faces are painted to resemble. They then allow 
a part to pass unmolested, when all at once, with a tremendous 
shout, rising up from the ambush, they pour a storm of musket-balls 
on their foes. If the force on each side continues nearly equal, the 
fierce spirits of these savages, inflamed by the loss of friends, can no 
longer be restrained. They abandon their distant war, they rush 
upon one another with clubs and tomahawks in their hands, magni- 
fying their own courage and insulting their enemies. A cruel com- 
bat ensues ; death appears in a thousand hideous forms, which 
would congeal the blood of civilized people to behold, but which in- 
creases the fury of these savages. They trample, they insult over 
the dead bodies, tearing the scalp from the head, wallowing in their 
blood like wild beasts, and sometimes devouring their flesh. The 
flame of war rages on until it meets with no resistance, then the 
prisoners are secured, whose fate is a thousand times more dreadful 
than theirs who have died in the field. The conquerors set up a 
hideous howling to lament the friends they have lost. They ap- 
proach to their own village, the women with frightful shrieks come 


out to mourn their dead brothers, or their husbands. An orator 
proclaims aloud a circumstantial account of every particular of the 
expedition, and, as he mentions the names of those who have fallen, 
the shrieks of the women are redoubled. The last ceremony is the 
proclamation of victory ; each individual then forgets his private 
misfortune, and joins in the triumph of his nation ; all tears are 
wiped from their eyes ; by a transition unaccountable to us, they 
pass in a moment from the bitterness of sorrow to an extravagance 
of joy. As they feel nothing but revenge for the enemies of their 
nation, their prisoners are treated with extreme cruelty. The pun- 
ishments inflicted on such prisoners as are doomed to death are too 
shocking and horrible to be exhibited in detail ; one plucks out the 
nails of the prisoner by the roots ; another takes a finger into his 
mouth and tears off the flesh with his teeth ; a third thrusts the fin- 
ger mangled as it is into the bowl of a pipe, made red hot, and 
smokes it as if it were tobacco ; they then pound his toes and fingers 
to pieces between two stones ; they apply red hot iron to his mangled 
body ; and thus they continue for several hours, and sometimes for 
a whole day, until they penetrate to the vital parts and completely 
exhaust the spring of life. Even the women, forgetting the human 
as well as the female nature, and transformed into something worse 
than the reputed Furies, frequently outdo the men in this scene of 
horror, while the principal persons of the tribe sit round the stake 
to which the prisoner is fixed, smoking and looking on without be- 
traying the least emotion. And, what is quite as remarkable, the 
prisoner himself endeavors to brave his torments with a stoical 
apathy ; " I do not fear death" (he exclaims in the face of his tor- 
mentors), " nor any kind of tortures ; those that fear them are 
cowards, they are less than women. May my enemies be con- 
founded with despair and rage ! Oh ! that I could devour them and 
drink their blood to the last drop ! " Such is a faint picture of the 
ferocious dispositions which, with a few modifications, have char- 
acterized the Indians of North and South America, and which we 
have reason to believe yet characterize those who are beyond the 
reach or influence of the white races. We ourself, have some ex- 
perience of the character of the Indians who live in the neighbor 
hood of the whites ; for happening occasionally to be where they 
were, and observing their noisy conversation and their unruly ges- 
tures, we felt considerably alarmed for our own safety, and did not 
wish to be among them longer than our duties required. 

If we cross the Atlantic and land on the shores of Africa we shall 
find the inhabitants of that continent exhibiting dispositions no less 

cruel and ferocious. Bosman relates the following instances of 


cruelties practiced by the Adomese Negroes, inhabiting the banks of 
the Praa or Chamah River : " Anqua, the king, having in an engage- 
ment taken five of his principal Antese enemies prisoners wounded 
them all over : after which with a more than brutal fury, he satiated, 
though not tired himself, by sucking their blood at the gaping 
wonnds : but bearing a more than ordinary grudge against one of 
them he caused him to be laid bound at his feet, and his body to be 
pierced with hot irons, gathering the blood that issued from him in 
a vessel, one half of which he drank, and offered up the rest to his 
god. On another occasion he put to death one of his wives and a 
slave, drinking their blood also, as was his usual practice with his 
enemies."* Dispositions and practices quite as abominable are ex- 
hibited in the kingdom of Dahomey near the gulf of Guinea. An im- 
molation of human victims for the purpose of watering the graves of 
the king's ancestors, and of supplying them with servants of various 
descriptions in the other world, takes place every year, at a grand 
festival which is held generally in April or May. The victims are 
generally prisoners of war reserved for the purpose, but should there 
be a lack of these, the number, between sixty and seventy, is made 
up from the most convenient of his own subjects. The immolation 
is not confined to this particular period : for at any time, should it 
be necessary to send an account to his forefathers of any remarkable 
event, the king despatches a courier to the shades, by delivering a 
message to whomsoever may happen to be near him, and then ordering 
his head to be chopped off immediately. It is considered an honor 
when His Majesty personally condescends to become the executioner 
in these cases, an office in which the king prides himself in being 
expert. The governor was present on one occasion, when a poor fel- 
low, whose fear of death outweighing the sense of the honor conferred 
upon him, on being desired to carry some message to his father declared 
on his knees that he was unacquainted with the way, on which the 
tyrant vociferated, " I'll show you the way," and with one blow made 
the head fly many yards from his body, highly indignant that there 
should have been the least expression of reluctance, f On the 
thatched roofs of the guard-houses which surround the palace of this 
tyrant are ranged, on wooden stakes, numbers of human skulls ; 
the top of the wall which encloses an area before it is stuck full of 
human jaw-bones, and the path leading to the door is paved with 

In the Kingdom of Ashantee similar practices uniformly prevail. 
" When the king of this country," says Dupuis, " was about to open 
the campaign in Gaman, he collected together his priests to invoke 

* Dupuis Journal in Ashantee. t MacLeod's Voj'age to Africa. 


the Royal Fetische (idol) and perform the necessary orgies to ensure 
success. These ministers of superstition sacrificed thirty-two male, 
and eighteen female victims, as an expiatory offering to the gods ; 
but the answers from the priests being deemed by the council as still 
devoid of inspiration, the king was induced to make a custom at the 
sepulchres of his ancestors, where many hundreds bled. This, it is 
affirmed, propitiated the wrath of the adverse god." The same king 
when he returned from the campaign, having discovered a conspiracy, 
decreed that seventeen of his wives along with his own sister should 
be strangled and beheaded. His sister's paramour, and all those of 
the same party, were doomed to the most cruel deaths at the grave 
of the king's mother. While these butcheries were transacting the 
king prepared to enter the palace ; and in the act of crossing the 
threshold of the outer gate was met by several of his wives whose 
anxiety to embrace their sovereign lord impelled them thus to over- 
step the boundary of female decorum in Ashantee ; for it happened 
that the king was accompanied by a number of his captains, who ac- 
cordingly were compelled to cover their faces with both their hands, 
and fly from the spot. This is said to have enraged the monarch, 
though his resentment proceeded no further than words, and he 
returned the embraces of his wives ; but another cause of anger soon 
after occurred, and he was inflamed to the highest pitch of indigna- 
tion, and in a paroxysm of anger, caused these unhappy beings to be 
cut into pieces before his face, giving orders at the same time to cast 
the fragments into the forest to be devoured by birds and beasts of 
prey, nor did the atonement rest here ; for six more unhappy females 
were impeached of inconstancy, and they also expiated their faults 
with their lives. Like another Ulysses, His Majesty then devoted 
himself to the purification of his palace, when to sum up the whole 
horror of these bloody deeds, two thousand wretches selected from 
the Gaman prisoners of Avar, were slaughtered over the royal death- 
stool in honor of the shades of departed kings and heroes. We are 
not to imagine that such fiendish and malignant dispositions are con- 
fined to kings and the ruling order of society. Whenever such fero- 
cious passions are displayed among barbarous chieftains, they pervade 
to a greater or less extent the great mass of the people, and almost 
every one in proportion to the power Avith which he is invested perpe- 
trates similar atrocities. The following instance, selected from Major 
Gray's " Travels in Africa, in 1824," will corroborate this position, 
and also show for how many acts of cruelty and injustice the abettors 
of the infamous traffic in slaves are accountable. The Kaartan force 
which the Major accompanied had made 107 prisoners, chiefly women 
and children, in a predatory excursion into Bondoo, for the purpose 


of obtaining a supply of slaves. The following is an account of the 
manner in which they were dragged along : " The men were tied in 
pairs by the necks, their hands secured behind their backs ; the women 
by the necks onl}^ but their hands were not left free from any sense 
of feeling for them, but in order to enable them to balance theii- im- 
mense loads of corn or rice, which they were obliged to carry on 
their heads, and their children on their backs." " I had an opportunity," 
saj'S Major Gray, " of witnessing, during this short march, the new- 
made slaves, and the sufferings to which they are subjected in their 
first state of bondage. They were hurried along, tied, at a pace 
little short of running, to enable them to keep up with the horsemen, 
who drove them on as Smithfield drovers do fatigued bullocks. 
Many of the women were old, and by no means able to endure such 
treatment. One in particular would not have faUed to excite the 
tenderest feelings in the breast of any one, save a savage African. 
She was at least sixty years old, in the most miserable state of ema- 
ciation and debility, nearly doubled together, and with difficulty 
dragging her tottering limbs along. To crown the heart-rending 
picture, she was naked save from her waist to about half way to the 
knees. All this did not prevent her inhuman captor from making 
her carry a heavy load of water, while with a rope about her neck he 
drove her before his horse ; and whenever she showed the least inclina- 
tion to stop he beat her in the most unmerciful manner with a stick." 
The inhabitants of all the interior of Africa, and round its northern, 
eastern and western coasts, display in almost every tribe the most 
inhuman and depraved dispositions. The Algerines are characterized 
as the most cruel and dangerous pirates, base, perfidious and rapaci- 
ous, to the last degree. No oaths or ties, human or divine, will 
avail to bind them, when their interest interferes. Whatever respect 
they pretend to pay to their prophet Mahomet, gold is the only idol 
which they worship. The emperors of Morocco are notorious as a 
set of rapacious and blood-thirsty tyrants, who have lived in a state 
of habitual warfare with Christian nations, and in the perpetration 
of deeds of injustice and cruelty. The Gallas, on the borders of 
Abyssinia, are a barbarous and warlike nation. They are hardy and 
of a ferocious disposition, trained to the love of desperate achieve- 
ments, taught to believe that conquest entitles them to the possession 
of whatever they desire, and to look upon death with the utmost 
contempt ; and, therefore, in their wars they fight with the most 
determined resolution, and neither give nor expect any quarter. The 
inhabitants of Adel, too, are of a warlike disposition, and most fre- 
quently live in enmity with those around them. The Feloops are 
gloomy and unforgiving in their tempers, thirsting for vengeance, 


even in the hour of dissolution, and leaving to their children to 
avenge their quarrels. The inhabitants of the grain coast, especially 
the Mulattoes, are said to be a most abandoned set of people. The 
men are drunkards, lewd, thievish and treacherous, and the women 
are the most abandoned prostitutes, sacrificing themselves at all 
times, and to all sorts of men, without the least degree of restraint.* 
The natives of Ansico, which borders on Angola, live by plunder- 
ing all who happen to fall in their way, some of whom they kill, and 
others they keep slaves. The Boshemen are land pirates, who live 
without laws and without discipline ; who lurk in thickets to watch 
the passage of travellers and shoot them with poisoned arrows, in 
order to seize their cattle. " The natives of Congo," says M. de la 
Brosse, in his "Travels along the Coast of Angola," 1793, "are ex- 
tremely treacherous and vindictive. They daily demanded of us 
some brandy for the use of the king and the chief men of the town. 
One day this request was denied, and we had soon reason to repent 
it ; for all the English and French officers having gone to fish on a 
small lake near the sea-coast, they erected a tent for the purpose of 
dressing and eating the fish they had caught, when amusing them- 
selves after the repast, seven or eight negroes, who were the chiefs 
of Loango, arrived in Sedans, and presented theii- hands according to 
the custom of the country. The negroes privately rubbed the hands 
of the officers with a subtle poison, which acts instantaneously, and 
accordingly five captains and three surgeons died on the spot." 
The Moors are characterized by Mungo Park as having cruelty and 
low cunning depicted on their countenances. 

Their treachery and malevolence are displayed in their plunder- 
ing excursions against the negro-villages. Without the smallest 
provocation, and sometimes under the fairest professions of friendship, 
they will seize upon the cattle of the negroes, and sometimes upon 
the people themselves. The Bedouins are plunderers of the culti- 
vated lands and highway robbers ; they watch every opportunity of 
taking vengeance on their enemies, and their animosities are trans- 
mitted as an inheritance from father to children. Even the Egyp- 
tians, who are farther advanced in civilization than the tribes to 
which we have alluded, are characterized by excessive pride, vindic- 
tive tempers, inordinate passions, and various species of moral turpi- 
tude. There is a trait in the character of the women of this nation, 
adverted to by Sonini in liis " Travels in Egypt," which is particularly 
odious and liorrible. On discovering any partiality in their husbands 
for other females, they are transported into a most unbounded and 
jealous fury. Such are their deceit and vindictiveness on these occa- 

* CiMjk's l'niver.-;il G(.'OL;r;ipliy. 


sions, that they instil into the blood of their faithless or suspected 
husbands a slow and mortal poison. They meditate their revenge 
in silence, and they enjoy the diabolical satisfaction of taking off an 
unhappy being by a lingering death. It is said their own persons 
supply the horrid means of perpetrating their malicious designs on 
their husbands, and that they mix with their aliment a certain por- 
tion of an ingredient of a poisonous nature, which infallibly induces 
a slow languor and consumption, and in time brings the wretched 
victims to the grave. 

The symptoms of the disease are dreadful. The body desiccates, 
the limbs become exceedingly weak, the gums rot, the teeth loosen, 
the hair falls off, and at length, having dragged out a miserable and 
tortured existence for a whole year or more, the unhappy being dies 
in the most excruciating torments. 

If we pass from Africa to the regions of Asia we shall find its 
inhabitants of a similarly depraved character, and practicing similar 
principles in all the various ranks of its population. Here tyranny 
in its most degrading and cruel form reigns supreme and uncon- 
trolled over a superstitious, a degraded, and an idolatrous race of 
mankind. The following, in relation to a petty tyrant of Persia, 
may serve as a specimen of Asiatic tyranny : " The governor, Zul- 
fecca Khan, is pronounced to be a cruel and unprincipled tj'rant ; un- 
fortunately for the people he has the ear of the sovereign, and they 
have no resource against his rapacity. He pays to the Crown 7000 
tomauns* a year, but it is asserted that he collects from the district 
100,000. His oppression was so grievous that the inhabitants, wea- 
ried out, went in a body to the king to complain; but His Majesty 
only referred them back to their tyrant, who, exasperated at their 
boldness, wreaked upon them a cruel vengeance. It is said he 
maimed and put to death a thousand of both sexes, cutting off the 
hands, putting out the eyes, and otherwise mutilating the men ; and 
cutting off the noses, ears, and breasts of the women. The people, de- 
sponding and broken-hearted after this, paid in so far as they were 
able the rapacious demands of their oppressor, and the natural con- 
sequence, ruin and desolation has ensued." f 

Sir John Chardin gives the following account of the inhabitants 
of Mingreli a, particularly the Avomen : "The people are generally 
handsome, the men strong and well made, and the women very beau- 
tiful, but both sexes are very vicious and debauched. The women, 
though lively, civil, and affectionate, are very perfidious for there is 
no wickedness which they will not perpetrate, in order to procure, 

* A tomaun equals about $3.02. 1 Frazer's Journey to Kliorazan. 


to preserve, or to get rid of their gallants. The men likewise pos- 
sess many bad (j^ualities. All of them are trained to robbery, which 
they study both as a business and as an amusement. With great 
satisfaction they relate the depredations they have committed, and 
from this polluted source they derive their greatest praise and honor. 
In Mingrelia falsehood, depredation, and theft are good actions, and 
whoredom, bigamy, and incest, are esteemed as virtuous habits. The 
men marry two or three wives at a time, and keep as many concu- 
bines as they choose. They not only make a common practice of 
selling their children either for gold or in exchange for wares and 
provisions, but even murder them or bury them alive, when they 
find it difficult to bring them up." 

The Tartars, who occupy vast regions of the high table lands of 
Eastern Asia, are uniformly described by travellers as a rude, plun- 
dering, and uncultivated race of men. " There is something fright- 
ful," says Smellie, " in the countenances of the Calmuck Tartars. 
All of them are wandering vagabonds, and live in tents made of 
cloth and skins. They eat the flesh of horses, either raw or a little 
softened by putrefying under their saddles. No marks of religion, 
or of any decency in their manners, are to be found amongst most of 
these tribes. They are fierce, warlike, hardy, and brutally gross. 
They are all robbers, and the Tartars of Daghestan, who border on 
civilized nations, have a great trade in slaves, whom they carry oS 
by force, and sell to the Persians and Turks." * 

The Arabians, like the Tartars, live in a state of wildness and 
lawless independency ; their chiefs authorize rape, theft, and rob- 
bery. They hold virtue in no estimation, and glory in almost every 
species of vice. They roam about in the desert, and attack caravans 
and travellers, wherever they fall in with them, whom they frequently 
plunder of their property and murder. 

The Chinese, though undoubtedly more civilized than most of 
the tribes already mentioned, and though they merit praise for their 
industry, perseverance and ingenuity, are as despicable in their moral 
characters, and as destitute of true benevolence, as almost any nation 
on the earth. Avarice is their leading passion, and in order to gratify 
it they practice every species of duplicity and fraud. They are not 
wont to be influenced by motives either of honesty or humanity; and 
they surpass every other nation in private cheating. Captain Cook 
observes that, the danger of being hanged for any crime being ex- 
cepted, " there is nothing, however infamous, which the Chinese will 
refuse to do for gain." In this declaration he concurs with most 
writers on the Chinese, both ancient and modern. 

* Smellie' s Philosophy. 


The Burmans are a lively inquisitive race, irrascible and impa- 
tient ; while in peace, they give proof of a certain degree of gentle- 
ness and civilization ; in war, they display the ferocity of savages. 

The Malays, though inhabiting a country beautiful and delightful 
in the extreme, where refreshing gales and cooling streams assuage 
the heat, where the soil teems with delicious fruits, where the trees 
are clothed with a continual verdure, and the flowers breathe their 
fragrant odors, are a people remarkably ferocious in their manners. 
They go always armed, except the slaves, and would think it a dis- 
grace to go abroad without their poniards. 

The inland inhabitants of Malacca, called Monucaboes, are a bar- 
barous people, delighting in doing continued mischief to their neigh- 
bors, on which account, it is said, no grain is grown in Malacca, but 
what is in the gardens enclosed with the thickest hedges, or deep 
ditches ; for when the corn is grown on the open plain the Monu- 
caboes never fail to set fire to it. 

Chardin describes the Persians as warlike, vain, and ambitious of 
praise, exceedingly voluptuous, prodigal, luxurious and addicted to 
gallantry. Although this country is regarded by the Western nations 
as oue of the most civilized in Asia, it is well known that the wars 
and the fiendish cruelties in which the despots of Persia have been 
engaged, have changed many of the provinces of that country into 
scenes of sterility and desolation ; and much of the miseries of famine, 
which has recently been desolating that country, is owing to its mis- 

The Hindoos are effeminate, luxurious, and practiced in the arts 
of dissimulation. They can caress those whom they hate, and behave 
with the utmost affability and kindness to those whom they intend 
to deprive of existence by the most sanguinary means. Though they 
seldom scold or Avrangle, they often stab each other insidiously, and 
without any public quarrel gratify a private revenge. The destruc- 
tion of infants, the immolation of widows, the drowning of aged 
parents, which prevail among them, and the cruel and idolatrous rites 
which distinguish their religious services, are too well known to re- 
quire description. 

The Turks, though grave, sedate, and rather hypochondriac, yet 
when agitated by passion are furious, raging, and ungovernable, dis- 
simulative, jealous, suspicious and vindictive. They are superstitious 
and obstinately tenacious in religious matters, and, until of Ifite, did 
not ordinarily exercise benevolence or even humanity towards those 
whose religion differed from theirs. Interest appears their supreme 
good, and, when that comes in competition, all ties of religion, con- 
sanguinity and friendship are, with the generality of them, speedily 


dissolved. They have deprived of their liberty, and to a great extent 
of their wealth, those who have been subjected to their iron sceptre, 
and have plunged them into the depths of moral and mental debase- 
ment. Their devastations and cruelties, and the deeds of injustice 
and horror which they have committed, are detailed upon the pages 
of history, and they are scarcely surpassed by the atrocities of the 
most savage hordes of mankind. 

Such is a partial review of the moral state of the savage and semi- 
civilized races of mankind, and shall we find a review of the nations 
called civilized to present a favorable contrast to it? Shall we find 
that the general moral goodness of the nations called civilized compares 
favorabl}' withtlie radical and general moral badness of the nations we 
have passed in review ? Each intelligent person can answer this for 
himself. What one nation can be pointed to as a good moral exam- 
ple for all other nations to follow? It will be much easier to find 
an individual man whose moral example would be worthy of being 
imitated by all the inhabitants of his own nation and all mankind 
than it would be to find a nation whose moral character, as a nation, 
would be worthy of being imitated by all other nations. 

Idea of the Moral World. 

In the moral world, as well as in the physical, there are degrees 
of approximation to perfection. The physical universe, of course, 
always exists perfectly constituted, but within the range of our 
observation we find changes continually taking place in nature. 
There is first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the 
ear. The moral world exists in relation to man, and so changes to 
suit his changeable nature that we hear of moral badness as well as 
moral goodness. And then there are degrees of approximation from 
a very bad to a very good moral character. The word moral, derived 
from the Latin word mos, mores, meaning customs, manners, usages, 
etc., will clearly show the distinction between the physical and moral 
world, and that the moral world has special reference to rational 
beings. People's morals are their manners, customs, usages, etc., in 
their intercourses with each other ; and the morals of an individual 
are his or her manners, customs, usages, practices, etc., in relation 
to one's self and to others. Hence, as the manners and customs of 
a people react in forming their permanent character, we hear of a 
good or bad moral character, national as well as individual. As 
long as mankind has existed so long has he had in some sort, man- 
ners, customs, usages, etc., and so the moral world is always co-ex- 
istent with the physical. But the moral world exists especially in 

74 CREATOR a:nd cosmos. 

reference to man ; he may be said to have created it for his own 
purposes; and if by any catastrophe, now unknown to us, the race o± 
man should entirely perish from the earth, one world would perish 
with him, the moral world which he has created for his own pur- 
poses. The original thinker in his first excursions is apt to suppose 
that that which goes by the name of moral world is not worthy of 
the name world. What, he says, have not all the lower orders of 
animals their peculiar habits as well as men : habits, which in the 
case of some of them, as the beaver, the dog, the mole, and the bee, 
amount to what might be called manners and customs? Or, is the 
routine of mankind in their intercourses with each other, in accord- 
ance with established rules or laws, called social, political and 
religious, worthy of the name of world as compared with the physi- 
cal world ? But such an one should bethink himself that the term 
world (the Greek representative of which is cosmos, signifying order, 
or systematic arrangement) involves the idea of system and order ; 
and the fundamental idea of true morality is order. Thus, the law 
of Moses, contained in the Ten Commandments, is called the Moral 
Law, because it contains a system of rules which, if perfectly and 
universally observed, would ensure the preservation and continuance 
of order among all human beings. 

Thus, the distinction is clearl}^ seen between the physical and 
moral world ; and that, if by any means all mankind ceased to exist, 
the moral world would cease to exist with them ; but the physical 
world would still remain, and the earth, not an atom of matter less 
by the disappearance of man from it, would continue to exist, and to 
revolve upon its axis, and round the sun, and day and night Avould 
continue to take place upon it, and the seasons would come and go 
in succession as they do now, and the changes in nature would con- 
tinue to take place in their seasons, in the main, always as they 
now do. 

It will be remembered that this is a supposed case only to show 
man's real importance, if we may so speak, and his real position in 
existence. But on the other hand, we believe that, if man has 
always existed, so he will always exist, and so the world he has cre- 
ated, the moral world, will co-exist with him. And, moreover, as he 
is a changeable being he will continue to change his moral system, 
modifying it, remodelling it, and creating it anew ; as, for example, a 
nation maj' do which may change its moral system in part, or may 
change it in whole, social, political, and religious, every century 
more or less, and may thus create a new moral world as often as it 
sees fit. And further, it is the moral principle which chiefly dis- 
tinguishes man from the brutes, constitutes him a responsible being, 


to be depended upon in matters of contract and in all social inter- 
coursi^.s, and the adherence to which promotes and elevates nations 
as well as individuals. The primary idea of morality is divinely 
good, implying intelligent order in and among human beings ; the 
idea of badness being at all associated with it arises from its perver- 
sion. He who lives not according to moral principle makes himself 
lower than the brutes. The cultivation of the moral principle by 
precept and example and the enforcement of its observance by 
requisite compulsion and restraint should be the object and care of 
just and righteous lav/s. The importance, then, of the adoption and 
practice permanently of a good moral system, such as that contained 
in the " Ten Commandments," and in " the Sermon on the Mount." 
is here clearly recognized. 

Secondly : Character of the Ancient Civilized Nations. 

And now let us briefly review the state of moral character of the 
nations called civilized. Among the ancients, the Greeks and 
Romans are understood to have been the most civilized nations. 
They were those which are thought to have attained the highest per- 
fection in art and literature. They were those which, of all the 
ancients, modern nations most delight to imitate in respect to their 
arts, literature, and arms. The Greek and Roman languages and 
literature are taught in our academies and colleges and the laws of 
Lycurgus and Solon, of Numa and Justinian are studied by our 
■undergraduates. But what information do the records of history 
afford us as to the moral character of these nations. Wars and 
intrigues, treachery and oppression, and all sorts of crime comprise 
most of it. In the earliest periods of which history gives us any 
information, we find these nations engagetl in wars. The war of the 
Grecian States with Troy, an account of which we have in the 
"Iliad" of Homer, although it is not recorded in history proper, yet 
is acknowledged by our ablest modern historians to have taken place. 
This war, having been prosecuted for ten years, ended in the down- 
fall of Troy ; and, though we have no certain information as to the 
numbers that fell on both sides, yet, judging from the numbers said 
to have been engaged, we know the loss of life must have been very 
great. Troy is said, according to the common belief, to have fallen 
in the year 1184 before Christ. We mention this war to show what 
we meet with in the very beginnings of Grecian history, and as ex- 
perience teaches that history repeats itself, we may believe that this 
war was but a repetition of what had been taking place in pre- 
historic ages. After this followed the first and second Messenian 


wars carried on between Sparta and Messenia for a period of many 
years, during which many battles were fought with incredible fury 
and great numbers lost their lives. Then followed the Persian wars, 
carried on first by Darius the Persian, against the Grecian colonies 
in Asia Minor, and afterwards by Darius and his successor Xerxes 
against Greece itself. The great battle of Marathon was fought 
between the Greeks and Persians in the reign of Darius, in which 
many thousand Persians were slain. Darius, humbled at his defeat, 
entrusted, at his death, the prosecution of the war against Greece to 
his son Xerxes. The army which the latter led into Greece was the 
most numerous of which we have any account in the annals of 
history, the largest of the expeditions of the crusades of sixteen 
centuries afterwards not coming nearly up to it. According to the 
statement of RoUin, which is founded on the statements of Hero- 
dotus, a historian of those times, of Isocrates, and Plutarch, this 
army consisted of a million seven hundred thousand foot, eighty 
thousand horse, and twenty thousand men for conducting the carri- 
ages and camels. On crossing the Hellespont, the strait which 
separates Europe from Asia, an addition was made to it from other 
nations of three hundred thousand, which made his land forces 
amount to two million one hundred thousand men. His fleet con- 
sisted of twelve hundred and seven vessels, each carrying two hun- 
dred and thirty men, in all two hundred and seventy-seven thousand 
six hundred and ten men, which was augmented by the European 
nations with twelve hundred vessels, carrying two hundred and 
fort}'- thousand men. Beside this fleet the small galleys, transports 
ships, etc., amounted to three thousand, containing about two hun- 
dred and forty thousand men. Including servants, eunuchs, women, 
and suttlers, and others who usuallj" follow an army, it is reckoned 
that the whole number of souls that invaded Greece with Xerxes 
amounted to five million, and nearly three hundred thousand souls. 
After remaining some time in Greece, nearly the whole of this vast 
army, along with the fleet, was routed and destroyed. Mardonius, 
one of the lieutenants of Xerxes, whom the latter at his departure 
left to prosecute the war in Greece with three hundred thousand 
men, was finally defeated and slain by the Greeks at the battle of 
Platese, and only three thousand of this vast army is said to have 
escaped destruction. This account of the invasion of Xerxes 
appears on the whole to be somewhat exaggerated. 

After this followed the first and second Peloponesian wars be- 
tween the Greeks themselves, the two leading States, Athens and 
Sparta, being engaged against each other. These wars were carried 
on for very many years with varying success, and great loss of life 


to both sides. And preceding and following all these there were 
endless wars and contentions between the petty Grecian States them- 
selves in which were displayed the basest intrigue, perfidy, treachery, 
dishonesty and animosity. They made truces with each other only 
to break them when they got a fair opportunity ; nor did they loose 
any occasion which presented itself of inflicting damage on each 
other when at war, attacking each other at night, and murdering 
and robbing all they could. And it should be borne in mind that 
the Greeks were a shrewd, cunning people ; they united the cunning 
and treachery of the fox with the boldness and ferocity of the lion 
and tiger ; and in very numerous individual cases the wisdom of the 
the sage with the courage of the warrior. 

The opening history of the Romans also represents that people 
as engaged in war. The founders of Rome are represented in myth- 
ical tradition as descended from the Trojans, who, after the fall of 
Troy, emigrated to Italy under the leadership of the Trojan chief, 
^neas. Romulus and Remus, the descendants of ^neas on their 
mother's side, and who are represented as having the god Mars for 
their father, are said to have founded the city, Rome, about the year 
753 B.C. In a dispute which arose between the two brothers, as to 
the name to be given to the new city, Romulus is said to have slain 
his brother Remus, and so the city was culled Rome after tl^e 
name Romulus. (This, as we have mentioned, is derived from 
tradition, and is not supported by authentic history; indeed, there 
are reasons to believe the city, Rome, may have been an old city, 
before the time it is said to have been founded by Romulus and 
Remus.) But it goes on to say : The new city being well filled with 
men who flocked to it from all sides, but there being a scarcity of 
women, Romulus, in order to obtain wives for his citizen subjects, 
is said to have made application to the neighboring communities, 
with that in view : but his proposal being treated with contempt, he 
resolved to obtain by stratagem what had been denied his honorable 
request. He invited certain tribes of the Sabines and Latins to come 
to Rome to witness certain festive games, and when they were 
assembled his Romans fell upon the daughters of their guests and 
carried them off by force. In consequence of this Rome became 
involved in a war with the Sabines, which, however, was brought to 
an amicable conclusion by the intervention of the women, who threw 
themselves betwen the two armies and declared themselves willing 
to share the fate of their new husbands. After this Romulus is 
said to have waged successful war against Fidenae and the Etruscan 
town of Veii, the latter of which he compelled to give up a portion 
of its territory. His reign is said to have extended over a period of 


thirty-eight years, 753-716 B.C., and his death was as marvellous as 
his birth ; for while he was reviewing his people his father, Mars, de- 
scended in a tempest and bore him up to heaven. Under the name 
of Quirinus he was afterwards worshipped as a god for a period of 
nearly eleven hundred years, from the time he is said to have lived to 
the establishment of the Christian religion, in the empire, by Con- 
stantine, A.D. 330. The same honors were paid him as to his father 
Mars, and it was believed that he watched for the interest of the 
state he had founded. This may have been one cause of the invinci- 
bility of the Romans in battle, that they thought themselves watched 
over, favored, and assisted by the founder of their state. Men often 
believe a lie as if it were the truth ; but firmly, though blindly, be- 
lieving it, it is as truth to them. Although this account, as that of 
the war of Troy, is mythical, it nevertheless shows us the warlike 
practice of these people in early historic times, and as we find them 
to be at the very beginning of their history, so we may certainly con- 
clude them to have been before. 

From the reputed time of Romulus to that of the Sicilian and 
Carthaginian wars, for a period of between three and four hun- 
dred years, the Romans were perpetually engaged in contests with 
the Italian tribes. The Etruscans, the Latins, the Marsians, the Her- 
nicans, the JEquians, the Pelignians, the Umbrians, the Lucauians, 
and the Samnites, were all subjugated by Rome. She then proceeded 
to subdue the Grecian States of Southern Italy, and, after continu- 
ing the war for many years, during which time the Romans fought 
many and hard battles, especially with Pyrrhus, King of Epirus, who 
had come from Greece with an army to assist these Grecian colonies, 
Rome finally succeeded in conquering both Pyrrhus and all the 
Grecian States of Southern Italy, and in establishing her government 
over these States. 

In more modern times we have a counterpart for Rome in the An- 
glo-Saxon Heptarchy ; for after, by conquest or otherwise, the seven 
Saxon kingdoms were brought under the power of the king of Wes- 
sex, their forces being concentrated, they expanded by degrees on 
all sides, and, under a succession of Norman princes, brought into 
subjection the remaining parts of South Britain, and eventually Ire- 
land. Scotland was united to the government in after times and by 
peaceful means. But as Rome did not cease to advance her con- 
quests after she had subdued Italy and Sicil}^ neither did the 
Anglo-Saxons, when they had subdued Britain and Ireland ; but 
they advanced in all directions in enterprise and arms, until to-day 
the sun never sets upon the Anglo-Saxon race and language, and their 
influence in arts and arms is far more than commensurate with the 


countries they inhabit. But the comparison in other respects stands 
thus, — if in the acquisition of territory, England slew her thousands 
Rome did her tens of thousands. It is to be hoped that, henceforth, 
England will take care that she add not largely to her cup of blood 
by war. 

Carthage was originally a colony of Phoenicians who, about the 
year 800, B.C., settled on the northern coast of Africa. These col- 
onists increased their dominions by inroads on the neighboring tribes, 
and, being a naval power, by degrees became masters of almost every 
island in the Mediterranean. Thus Carthage may be truly said to 
have become great at the expense of her neighbors. Their efforts 
to conquer Sicily brought them into collision with the now formid- 
able forces of Rome. The conflicts between Rome and Carthage are 
distinguished in history by the name of the Punic Wars, Punic 
meaning Phoenician, for Carthage, as we have said, was a Phoenician 
colony. The first Punic war, beginning B.C., 264, lasted twenty- 
four years ; the second seven, and the third four years and some 
months. In the last contest the city of Carthage was destroyed to 
its foundations by the Romans. It was delivered up by Scipio, the 
Roman general, to be plundered by the soldiers ; its gold, silver, 
statues, and other treasures amounting to 4,470,000 pounds weight 
of silver were carried to Rome ; its towers, ramparts, walls and all 
the works which the Carthaginians had raised in the course of many 
centuries, where levelled to the ground. Fires were set to the edifices 
of the once proud metropolis, which consumed them all ; not a single 
house, it is said, escaped the fury of the flames. And although the 
fire began in all quarters, and burned with great violence, it con- 
tinued for seventeen days before all the buildings were consumed. 
Thus perished a city which contained 700,000 inhabitants, and which 
had waged so many ferocious wars with neighboring nations — a ter- 
rible example of the destructive effects produced by malevolent 
passions in war, and of the retributive justice of the Governor of the 
universe. The destruction of human life in the wars which Rome 
waged with Carthage is beyond all specific computation. During the 
space of sixteen years Hannibal, the Carthaginian general, sacked no 
less than fourteen hundred towns, and destroyed three hundred thou- 
sand of his enemies, and we may safely reckon that nearly an equal 
number of his own men were cut off by the opposing Roman armies ; 
so that several millions of human beings must have been sacrificed in 
these bloody and cruel wars. 

The following is a summary statement of the number of human 
beings that were sacrificed in a few of the battles recorded in history 
as fought for the most part by the Greeks and Romans against their 


enemies. In the battle of Issus, between Alexander the Great, at, 
the head of the Greeks, and Darius the Persian, there are said to 
have been slain 110,000; in the battle of Arbela, two years after- 
wards, between the same two despots, 300,000. In the siege of 
Jerusalem by Vespasian and Titus, according to Josephus, there 
were destroyed 1,110,000. And there are said to have been slain in 
Jerusalem in the year 170, B.C., by Antiochus Epiphanes, celebrated 
for having compelled the Jews to worship his image, which he intro- 
duced to their temple, 40,000. In the year 101, B.C., in an engage- 
ment had between the Romans under Caius Marius, their consul, 
and the German tribes of Cimbri and Teutons, in transalpine 
Gaul, there are said to have been slain of these barbarians, aside 
from what fell on the Roman side, 200,000 men, — some historians 
say 290,000 ; and it is related that the inhabitants of these countries 
in which the battle occurred, made fences for vineyards out of the 
bones. In the ensuing year the Romans, under the command of the 
same consul, slaughtered 140,000 of the Cimbri, and took 60,000 
prisoners. In the year 105, B.C., the Romans, in a single battle 
with the Cimbri and Teutons, lost upwards of 80,000 men. In the 
battle of Cannse the Romans were surrounded by the forces of 
Hannibal and cut to pieces, after an engagement of only three hours 
the carnage became so dreadful that even the Carthaginian gen- 
eral cried out to spare the conquered. Above 40,000 Romans lay 
dead on the field, and 6000 of the Carthaginians. What a horrible 
exhibition of the rage and fury of diabolical passions must have 
taken place on this occasion ; and what a dreadful scene must this 
field of battle have presented, when we consider that, in the mode of 
warfare of those days, the slain were literally mangled and cut to 
pieces ! In the battle between Scipio and Hasdrubal 40,000 are said 
to have fallen. At Cyrene there are said to have been slain of 
Romans and Greeks, by the Jews, 220,000 ; in Egypt and Cyprus in 
the reign of Trajan, 240,000 ; and in the reign of Hadrian, 580,000 
Jews. After Julius Csesar had carried his arms into the territories 
of the Usipetes in Germany, he is said to have defeated them with 
such slaughter that 400,000 perished in one battle. (This most 
probably is exaggerated.) In the battle of Chalons, between the 
Huns, under Atilla, and the Romans, there perished about 300,000. 
In the year 681, A.D. there are said to have been slain by the Sara- 
cens in Syria, 60,000. In the invasion of Lombardy and Milan, by 
the Goths, no less than 300,000. In A.D. 734 by the Saracens in 
Spain, 370,000. In the battle of Yermuk, 150,000. In the battle 
between Charles Martel and the Mohammedans, 350,000, at the least 
computation, are said to have been slain. In the battle of Muret, in 


A.D., 1213, between the Catholics and Albigenses, 32,000 are said to 
have fallen. In the battle of Cressy, between the English and French 
in 1346, 50,000. In the battle of Halidon Hill, in 1333, 20,000. In 
the battle of Agincourt, in 1415, 20,000. In the battle of Towton, 
in 1461, 37,000. In the battle of Lepanto, in 1571, 25,000. In the 
battle of Fontenoy, 100,000. 

The destruction of human life in the wars that accompanied and 
followed the invasion of the barbarous nations who overthrew the 
Roman Empire in the West is beyond all specific calculation. In 
the war which was waged in Africa in the reign of the Emperor, 
Justinian, Procobius remarks : "• It is no exaggeration to say that 
five millions perished by the sword and famine and pestilence." The 
same author states tjiat during the twenty years war which this 
Emperor carried on with the Gothic conquerors of Italy the loss of 
the Goths amounted to above fifteen millions ; nor does this appear 
altogether incredible when we remember that in one campaign 50,000 
laborers died of hunger. 

About the beginning of the thirteenth century arose the very cruel 
and bloodthirsty tyrant, Zingis Khan. With immense armies, some 
of them amounting to a million of men, he overrun and subdued the 
Kingdom of Hya, in China, Tangut, Kitay, Turkistan, Karazum, 
Great Bucharia, Persia, and part of India, committing the most 
dreadful cruelties and devastations. It is compatjd that during the 
last twenty-two years of his reign no less than 14,470,000 were but- 
chered by this merciless scourge of mankind. He appeared to the 
people of the East like an infernal fiend, breathing out destruction 
wherever he went, and the doctrine which he preached after conquest 
was utter extermination. 

About the same time when this monster was ravaging the Eastern 
world those mad expeditions distinguished by the name of Crusades 
were going forward in the West. Six millions of infatuated mortals, 
raging with hatred and thirsting for blood, assumed the image of 
the cross and marched in successive expeditions, in tumultuous con- 
fusion, to the confines of Palestine, in order to recover the city of 
Jerusalem from the hand of the Mohamedans. In these holy wars^ as 
they were impiously called, more than 850,000 Europeans are said to 
have been sacrificed, before they obtained possession of Nice, An- 
tioch, and Edessa. At the capture of Jerusalem in 1099, about 
75,000 are said to have been slain ; and at the siege of Acre, 300,000. 
For nearly two hundred years these wild expeditions continued to 
go forward, and were urged on by proclamations issued from the 
papal and kingly thrones, and by fanatical sermons from the pulpit, 
until several millions of deluded wretches perished from the earth ; 


for the greater part of those who engaged in the crusades either died 
from hardships endured on the march or were slain or taken prison- 
ers. At this period, and for many centuries before, the wide ex- 
panse of Europe and Asia exhibited little else than one great field of 
battle, in which nations were dashing against each other, conquerors 
ravaging kingdoms, tyrants exercising the most awful cruelties, su- 
perstition and revenge immolating their millions of victims, and 
tumults, insurrections, slaughter and universal alarm, banishing 
peace and tranquility from the abodes of men, and subverting the 
moral order of society. The European states were distracted by the 
incessant disputes between the popes and the emperors ; the interior 
of every European kingdom was torn in pieces by the contending 
ambition of the powerful barons ; in the Mohamedan Empire the ca- 
liphs, sultans, and emirs, waged continual war ; new sovereignties 
were daily rising and daily being destroyed, and amidst this univer- 
sal slaughter and devastation the whole earth seemed in danger of 
being laid waste, and the human race to suffer an extermination. 

In the latter part of the 14th century arose Tamerlane, one of 
the successors of Zingis Khan. This ruthless conqueror followed in 
the footsteps of his predecessor, the cruel Zingis. Putting himself 
at the head of large armies he overran Persia, Turkestan, Kipzak, 
Russia and Hindostan, ravaging as he went, levelling cities with the 
dust, cruelly destroying their inhabitants, and committing the most 
horrible depredations. He also conquered the Turks of Asia Minor 
and carried the Sultan Bajazet into captivity, as it is said, in an 
ii-on cage. Whole nations were crushed under the iron heel of this 
conqueror. The historian Gibbon when speaking of him says : 
*' The ground which had been occupied by flourishing cities, was 
often marked by his abominable trophies, hy columns or pyramids of 
human heads ; and perhaps his conscience would have been startled 
if a priest or a philosopher had dared to number the millions of vic- 
tims whom he sacrificed to the establishment of peace and order."* 
Such is the motive that invaders generally avow for their action — 
■that they may establish order in the nations which they invade — but 
itoo often it happens that instead of bringing order and tranquillity 
.they bring to them ruin and devastation- By the Crimean War, car- 
Tied on between France, England, and Russia, there were killed 
784,991. By the Italian war of 1859, 45,000. By the war with 
Schleswig-Holstein, 3,500. In the American civil war, of the North- 
ern army there were killed 281,000 ; of the Southern army, 519,000. 
In the war of 1866 between Prussia, Austria, and Italy, 45,000. In 

* Gibbon's Rome. 


distant and various wars in Mexico, Cochin China, Morocco, St. 
Domingo, Paraguay, etc., 65,000 ; making a total of one million 
seven hundred and fifty thousand men swept off by war in the space 
of fourteen years, between 1853 and 1866. And in carrying on 
these wars it is estimated there was spent at the least calculation, 
nine thousand five hundred and sixty-five millions of dollars ; an 
amount of money which if put to the use of benefitting humanity, 
might have transformed the whole moral and social condition of 
civilized nations for the better. It is said the entire loss of Germany 
in the late war it had with France was something like 180,000 men, 
rather more than half of whom are invalided ; and it is certain the 
loss on the part of France was not less but perhaps much greater : 
and this war was carried on at a corresponding rate of expense. 

It may be remembered that the instances we have adduced are 
only a few circumstances in the annals of warfare. And yet in a 
few of the instances last stated, we are presented with a scene of 
horror which includes the destruction of between fifty and sixty 
millions of the human race, besides the other various kinds of suffer- 
ing which war entails. Language can scarcely be found strong 
enough to express the emotions of the mind when it seriously con- 
templates the horrible scene. And is it not melancholy to reflect 
that in the present age, which boasts of its improvements in science, 
in civilization and religion, neither reason, nor humanity, nor Chris- 
tianity, nor benevolence, has yet availed to stop the progress of de- 
stroying armies, and to set a mark of ignominy upon the nations that 
delight in war. To counteract this most irrational and deplorable 
propensity by every means which reason or humanity can suggest 
should be the duty of every one who is desirous to promote the pres- 
ent and future benefit of his species. 

For our review of the moral character of the civilized nations 
we have chosen Greece and Rome, and the nations immediately con- 
nected with them, as the most fit representatives of ancient times; 
and in continuing this review we shall confine it to those nations 
which have ariseu out of the Roman Empire, as the fittest represen- 
tatives of civilization in modern times. It would not answer to 
choose out any one of these nations as the fittest national representative 
of civilization in modern times, for each of them would be unwilling 
to be classed less high in that respect than any of the others. It 
becomes our duty, therefore, to take a glance at each of them so far 
as our limits will allow, and see how they appear to stand with re- 
spect to moral character. 

We have given proof of the warlike dispositions which were 
♦displayed in the Greek and Roman empires, and in a few instances 


of other nations also that waged war with them and on their borders ; 
and now it will be well to slightly examine what dispositions are 
displayed by these modern nations, while at the same time they may 
be considered in connection Avith their religious institutions. As to 
the dispositions displayed by these modern nations, pride and selfish- 
ness are prominent characteristics in them all. All these nations 
are more or less addicted to wars, and pride and selfishness are the 
prime movers to the wars which they wage. 

Russia has proceeded in her career of self-aggrandizement for the 
last two centuries, absorbing one nation after another against their 
will, until her dominions now extend across the whole continent of 
Asia from the China Sea to the Baltic ; and from Mount Caucasus 
and the frontiers of Tartary to the frozen ocean. Russia has to a 
large extent made herself great at the expense of her neighbors ; 
starting from her northern desert, in the time of Peter the Great, 
she has extended her dominions, until she is now equal in extent of 
territory to any other nation on the globe. Her government is 
strictly despotic. Her religion is Christian of the Greek model, 
which we shall have occasion to speak of in the latter part of the 
book. The mass of her peoples, until lately serfs, are gen ei ally 
ignorant and of a servile spirit. Her penal laws are exceedingly 
severe ; the severest punishments are frequently inflicted for the 
most trivial offences. At the will of the emperor, and often for very 
slight offences, men are bound in irons and transported to the frozen 
regions of Siberia, there to drag out a most miserable existence, 
until death or the term of their banishment puts an end to their 
sufferings. The knout is one of the most common instruments of 
punishment used in Russia. This instrument is a thong made of 
the skin of the elk or the wild ass, and so hard that a single stroke 
cuts the flesh to the bone. The following description is given bj 
Olearius of the manner in which he saw the knout inflicted on eight 
men, and one woman, only for the crime of selling brandy and 
tobacco without a license : " The executioner's man, after stripping 
them down to the waist, tied their feet, and took one at a time on 
his back. The executioner stood at three paces distance, and, 
springing forward with the knout in his hand, whenever he struck 
the blood gushed out at every blow. The men had each twenty-five 
or twenty-six lashes ; the woman, though only sixteen, fainted away. 
After their backs were thus dreadfully mangled they were tied 
together, two and two ; and those who sold tobacco having a little 
of it, and those who sold brandy a little bottle put about their necks. 
They were then whipped through the city of Petersburgh, for about 
a mile and a half, and then brought back to the place of their punish- 


meut and dismissed." This is what is termed the moderate knout, 
for when it is administered with the utmost severity, the executionei- 
striking the flank and ribs, cuts the flesh to the bowels, and there- 
fore many die of this merciless and inhuman punishment. The 
punishment of the pirates and robbers who infest the banks of the 
Volga, is another act of savage cruelty peculiar to Russia. A float 
is built whereon a gallows is erected, on which is fastened a number 
of iron hooks, and on these the wretched criminals are hung alive by 
the ribs. The float is then launched into the sti-eam, and orders are 
given to all the towns and villages on the borders of the river, that 
no one upon pain of death shall afford the least relief to any of these 
wretches. These criminals sometimes hang in this manner three, 
four, and even five days alive. The pain produces a raging fever, 
in which they utter the m.ost horrid lamentations, imploring the 
relief of water and other liquids. During the reign of Peter the 
Great the robbers who infested the various parts of his dominions, 
especially the banks of the Volga, were hung up in this manner by 
hundreds and thousands, and left to perish in the most dreadful 
manner. The boring of the tongue, and the cutting of it out, are 
practiced yet in Russia as an inferior species of punishment. It is 
much to be hoped that the time will soon come when governments 
will see and admit the folly and injustice of such proceedings. 
Punishment administered beyond the desert of the offence, can have 
no other tendency than to demoralize the minds of the people, to 
blunt *heir natural feelings, and to render criminal characters still 
more desperate ; and hence we need not wonder at what travellers 
affirm respecting the Russians, that they are very indifferent as to 
life or death, and undergo capital punishment with unparalleled apathy 
and indolence. It matters little what the name of the religion is 
that is professed by a government which practices, or allows to be 
practiced in its dominions, such tyranny, brutality and cruel barbar- 
ism. In order to show itself civilized and a worthy apostle of its 
faith to foreign peoples, a government should show itself exemplar}'- 
at home by dealing righteously, benevolently, and beneficently with 
its own people. 

Prussia and Russia may be said to have attained a conspicuous 
national existence at the same time. In the year 1701 Frederick, the 
Margrave or Count of Brandenburgh, deeming himself strong enough 
to make good his intentions against the nations which might choose 
to oppose him. crowiied himself king, and publicly announced that 
his name henceforth was not elector of Brandenburgh, but king of 
Prussia. At the same time Peter the Great was engaged in the work 
of building the City of St. Petersburg, and of making Russia a naval 


power, after having a few j-ears previously prepared himself for this 
task by practicing as a shipbuilder in an English dockyard. Both of 
these nations have since then under successive rulers made great ad- 
vances to power. "We have stated by what means Russia enlarged 
her dominions to such a great extent; and shall we now inquire by 
what means Prussia has come by her power and attained to the 
supremacy among the German States which she now enjoys ? Was 
it by peaceable or warlike measures ? Mainly by war. True, Prussia 
owes much for her present eminency to the intelligence of her people; 
and this is, of course, owing to the system of education that is estab- 
lished and carried on in that country. Now the proper object of a 
system of education is to diffuse a knowledge of the sciences, the 
useful arts, and of anj^ other branch of knowledge the acquisition of 
which may tend to the happiness and well-being of tlie people. But 
the system of education established in Prussia includes the teaching 
of the military art as well as the other arts. And it may probably 
be argued that the art of war is a necessary and useful one. There is 
no necessity of it if men but keep the principles of pride and self- 
ishness in their own nature in due subordination to the principles 
of godliness, which they can do by having right reason rule. Nor 
can the greatness that is derived from war be called true greatness. 
What, it may be asked. Is a nation to look on inactively and see 
itself invaded, desolated, and absorbed by an enemy without offering 
any resistance ? This sometimes would be the wisest policy for a 
nation in such circumstances. Some of those nations, for e:p,mple, 
which have been absorbed by Prussia herself during her career of 
conquest and by Russia might have done better had they thus acted. 
Since they were not able effectually to repel, it would have been 
wiser for them to have submitted to the invader, without actively re- 
sisting him, by which course they would at least have saved the lives 
of those Avho fell, and perhaps obtained better terms from the ag- 
gressor. But if a strong nation is attacked what course should it 
pursue ? Intelligent non-resistance would in this case even be the best 
course to follow, uud \>\ peaceful measures to obtain the best condi- 
tions obtainable ; it is also by far the most praiseworthy. But each 
nation, when it feels itself greatly aggrieved by another, no matter 
how limited its resources for offence and defence are as compared 
with those of the other, is apt to feel itself equally strong, just as a 
small weak man feels when he is provoked to combat by a large ath- 
letic one. Well, as there is no necessity of either of these men strik- 
ing the other, nor of the one that may have been struck striking in 
return, so there is not the slightest need of a nation, whether it may 
be powerful or weak, striking either in aggression or defence. In- 


telligent non-resistance on the part of a nation, as of an individual, 
makes the aggressor feel ashamed of his conduct, and is the means of 
saving life and limb and property, and of securing the blessings of 
happiness and peace to many people who should otherwise suffer. 
But the question is often and very considei;,te!y usked Who, when 
struck or insulted, ciin abstain from strikin<>- or insulting in his turn? 
Any one can abstain from it if he will but act considerately. If a 
man returns an insult he degrades himself to the level of him who 
insults him ; but if one try to kill him, he should endeavor to not be 
killed. Reason should always be allowed to govern ; passion or 
malevolence not for a moment. We have ourselves always acted on 
the principle of intelligent non-resistance, and mean to do so as long 
as we live. The principle of good-will to men, men of every charac- 
ter and temper, should be cultivated by all, and no principle con- 
trary to this should be allowed to occupy the breast for a single mo- 
ment. If men are weak enough to strike or insult, they are so from 
ignorance or the depravity of their nature ; such should be looked 
upon with compassion, and their good, not their evil and destruction, 
should by every means be sought ; when they come to fully under- 
stand what they are, and what they should be and do, they will be 
strikers and insulters no longer. Example is ever more powerful 
than precept, in the case of nations as well as individuals. But, as 
in the case of two men who are about to quarrel, the law holds that 
one accountable who strikes first, why may there not be an inter- 
nation«l law established among the civilized nations, which no one 
nation will be allowed to transgress? But it may be said that trans- 
gression of that law would imply the use of compulsory means to 
enforce obedience to it, and that this means might necessarily be 
war. If it were stipulated by the international law that all the 
nations agreeing to it should remain unarmed, that military princi- 
ples should iiot be taught nor warlike implements manufactured or 
retained by these nations, then war could not be the means resorted 
to in such a case. But it may be said that when a nation would feel 
inclined to transgress or to secede from the international confederacy 
it might insiduously import arms and equipments of war from some 
other nations outside of the league, and so prepare itself to effectu- 
ally accomplish its object. To prevent the occurrence of such a 
breach it would be wise for the confederacy to embrace within 
itself as many as possible of the nations of the earth, even those they 
would deem uncivilized ; to bring all these if possible to live and 
abide by the stipulations of the international law ; so that there 
might be no place left from whence to import the means and imple- 
ments of war. Cannot such a state of things be brought about ? It 


can be effected, first by the civilized nations among themselves ; then 
by their gradually bringing into their confederacy all the other 
-nations. The first step to be taken to this good end is the universal 
•education of the masses of the people high as well as low in every 
Nation, in the principles of self-denial, charity and true humility ; 
5and to this end, the principles of military discipline should not be 
taught in the schools, nor should anything be taught which would 
1;end to foster or cultivate a warlike spirit. There should be no 
panegyrics delivered by the teachers nor found in the school-books 
upon the virtues of warriors of past ages or of the present ; nor 
should an Alexander, a Caesar, a Frederick, a Bonaparte, a Welling- 
ton, or even a Washington, so far as he was a warrior, be held up to 
the admiration or the imitation of the students ; only the sciences 
and the arts which tend to peace should be taught ; the principles of 
pride and selfishness should be not only suppressed but eradicated ; 
and the principles of true virtue, of honest industry, of charity, and 
intelligent humility, should be universally inculcated and exempli- 
fied to the youth. Such a state of things, then, as we have contem- 
plated might be begun to be brought about by the universal educa- 
tion of the masses, commencing with all youth of the present gener- 
ation ; and, as the people would be continually advancing to a 
higher state of knowledge and civilization, the nations would become 
more peaceful, stable, and prosperous, would cultivate more the 
sciences and arts which tend to peace, and would become more 
closely united to each other in the bonds of charity and mutual good 
will. We have before explained how that man creates the moral 
world, and that the great object of a moral system is to enable men 
to live in association with each other according to order and right. 
Now this being so that moral system is certainly imperfect, and un- 
worthy of the name of world, which does not provide that men 
shall not hill each other by means of war. It implies not order, 
but disorder, and all its train of evil consequences. To the end that a 
better system may be established, and that as universally as possible, 
much may now be begun to be done by rulers and men of power and 
influence in all nations, yea and by eveiy teacher, every parent, and 
every individual both subjectively and objectively. This education, 
which as we have said is the first step towards the bringing in of a state 
of things for the better, permanently, must be as universally diffused 
as possible, and individually subjective as well as objective ; for each 
one must educate him or her self in the principles and practices of 
self-denial, humility and all the kindred principles which pertain to 
godliness as- well as teach others, as far as one can, the same princi- 


pies and practices. Then would love be the motive power to action, 
instead of, as before, pride and selfishness. 

But to return to our main subject, Prussia has to a great extent 
aggrandized herself, as Russia did, at the expense of her neighbors. 
It has subdued one nation after another by force of arms ; it has 
domineered over Austria ; it has humiliated France, and by its course 
of war and bloodshed it has attained the supremacy in the German 
States. And in other respects also the moral character of the Prus- 
sians is not what it ought to be. It has long enforced a very severe 
penal code. The following account is given by a traveller, who was 
in Berlin in 1819, of the execution of a man for murder, which shows 
that the execution of criminals in Prussia is frequently attended by 
a species of cruelty worthy of the worst days of the Inquisition : 
" Amidst the parade of executioners, officers of police, and other ju- 
dicial authorities, the beating of drums, and the waving of flags and 
colors, the criminal mounted the scaffold. No ministers of religion 
appeared to gild the horrors of eternity, and to soothe the agonies of 
the criminal ; and no supplicatory prayer closed his quivering lips." 
" Never," says the narrator, " shall I forget the one bitter look of im- 
ploring agony that he threw around him, as, immediately in stepping 
on the scaffold, his coat was rudely torn from his shoulders. He was 
then thrown down, the cords fixed around his neck, which were 
drawn until strangulation almost commenced. Another executioner 
then approached, bearing in his hands a hugh wheel, bound with 
iron, with which he violently struck the legs, arms, and chest, and 
lastly the head of the criminal. I was unfortunately near enough to 
witness his mangled and bleeding body still convulsed. It was then 
carried down for interment, and in less than a quarter of an hour from 
the beginning of his torture, the corpse was completely covered with 
earth. Several large stones which were thrown upon him hastened" 
his last gasp ; he was mangled into eternity.'''' Punishments, as we 
have before said, should not be more than proportioned to the crimes 
for which they are inflicted, and in every case should be designed 
for the benefit of the criminal, or of society, or of both. If the life 
of the criminal is to be taken, the object of the punishment cannot 
be his benefit ; and no benefit can accrue to society from his being 
treated with a greater degree of severity than his crime deserves. If 
the life of the criminal is not to be taken the object of the punish- 
ment should be his moral improvement, and the punishment should 
not be greater than he deserves. An unduly severe criminal code in 
any country is proof that that nation has yet to advance some de- 
grees before it can be called civilized. 

France is a nation which until very lately played an important 


part in tlie history of Europe. From being one of the provinces of 
the Roman Empire she was raised to the position of an independent 
state by Clovis in the 5th century, A. D. In the latter part of the 
8th century she was raised to a greater height of power by the con- 
quests of Charlemagne ; she afterwards lost a great part of the do- 
minions which she had acquired through him, and gained them again 
after a long interval through the conquests of Napoleon Bonaparte, 
but only to retain them for a very short time. France, before called 
Gaul, has as long as we have known her historically, been a nation 
addicted to war. She has, however, not been remarkably successful 
in war, never having attained to a very great degree of power, ex- 
cept under the two conquerors just named. Charlemagne is said to 
have carried on fifty-three campaigns. He was a remarkably fero- 
cious and cruel man. On one occasion, it is said that he beheaded 
4,500 Saxon prisoners on the same spot, which may serve as a speci- 
men of the butcheries of this ferocious warrior. This was the man 
who was crowned by Pope Leo in the church of St. Peter at Rome, 
in the last year of the 8th century ; and who is also inscribed as a 
Saint of the Roman Church. In him the Roman Empire of the west 
was considered to have been revived after it had been overthrown 
and trampled upon for some centuries by the Goths and Vandals, 
and other northern nations ; and from that time till the withdrawal 
of the French troops from Rome, in the time of Napoleon III., France 
has almost always been a zealous supporter of the Papacy. We need 
not here detail the wars of the Bonapartes, their rise, progress, and 
terminations ; they are very generally known, and equal in cruelty 
and the destruction of human life the battles of ancient times. We 
shall relate only a few instances of French barbarity in these wars. 
" After the taking of Alexandria by Bonaparte," sa,js the relater, " we 
were under the necessity of putting the whole of them to death at 
the breach. But the slaughter did not cease with the resistance. 
The Turks and inhabitants fled to their mosques, seeking protection 
from God and their prophet ; and then men and women, old and 
young, and infants at the breast, were slaughtered. This butchery 
continued for four hours, after which the remaining part of the in- 
habitants were much astonished at not having their throats cut." 
From what follows we can see that all this bloodshed was pre- 
meditated. " We might have spared the men whom we lost," says 
General Boyer, "by only summoning the town ; but it was necessary to 
begin by confounding our enemy." After the battle of the Pyramids, 
it is remarked by an eye witness, " the whole way through the desert 
was tracked by bones and bodies of men and animals, who had perished 
in these dreadful wastes. In order to warm themselves at night 


they gathered together the dry bones and bodies of the dead, which 
the vultures had spared, and it was by a fire composed of this fuel 
that Bonaparte lay down to sleep in the desert."'* Miot gives the 
following description of a scene at Jaffa : " The soldier abandons 
himself to all the fury which an assult authorizes. He strikes, he 
slays, nothing can impede him. All the horrors which accompany 
the capture of a town by storm are repeated in every street, every 
house. You hear the cries of violated females calling in vain for 
help to those relations whom they are butchering. No asylum is 
respected. The blood streams on every side ; at every step you 
meet with human beings groaning and expiring, etc." Sir Robert 
Wilson, when describing the campaign in Polland, relates, that " the 
ground between the woods and the Russian batteries, about a quarter 
of a mile, was a sheet of naked human bodies, which friends and foes 
had during the night mutually stripped, not leaving the worst rag 
upon them, although numbers of these bodies retained consciousness 
of their situation. It was a sight which the eye loathed, but from 
which it could not remove." In Labaume's " Narrative of the 
Campaign in Russia," we are presented with the most horrible details : 
" palaces, churches, and streets enveloped in flames ; houses tumbling 
into ruins, hundreds of the blackened carcasses of the wretched inhabi- 
tants, whom the fire had consumed, blended- with the fragments ; hos- 
pitals containing 20,000 wounded Russians on fire, and consuming the 
miserable victims ; numbers of half-burnt wretches crawling ajaong 
the smoking ruins ; females violated and massacred ; parents and 
children half-naked, shivering with cold, flying in consternation with 
the remains of their half-consumed furniture ; horses falling in 
thousands, and writhing in tlfe agonies of death ; roads covered for 
miles with thousands of the dying and the dead, heaped one upon 
another, and swimming in blood, and these dreadful scenes rendered 
still more horrific by the shrieks of young females, of mothers, and 
children, and the piercing cries of the wounded and the dying, 
invoking death to put an end to their agonies." It is probable that 
some of our readers have been so affected by the description already 
given, that they have turned away their eyes in disgust from such an 
appalling spectacle of suffering and horror, but these are only a 
few instances out of thousands which the authentic histories of the 
French wars present before us. What untold sufferings have been 
caused by the wars which France has carried on in our own day ! 
Wars with Russia, with Austria, with Prussia, and last the fratricidal 
war which was waged at Paris between its own citizens at the 

* Miot's Memoirs. 


terminatioix of the late war with Germany. Yet France has long 
been considered a leading civilized nation of Europe. The French 
nation have been characterized as a vain, immoral, and licentious 
people, in their social state, especially the inhabitants of their chiei 
cities ; and these their sins may have sometimes brought destruction 
upon that people; but we are aware that the suffering and destruc- 
tion of the many are often caused by the pride and selfishness of a 
few, very often by the will of an individual, as we believe that 
last war with Germany may have been which humbled France to 
the dust and caused such immense loss and suffering to her people. 

The penal code in France has also been extremely severe. The 
execution of Damiens in 1757, for attempting to assassinate Louis 
XV., was accompanied with tortures, the description of which 
is enough to harrow the feelings of the most callous nature, tortures 
which could scarcely be exceeded in intensity, even though they were 
invented by an infernal fiend ; and yet they were beheld with a 
certain degree of apathy by a surrounding populace, and even coun- 
sellors and physicians could talk together deliberately about the best 
mode of tearing asunder the limbs of the wretched victim, with 
as much composure as if they had been dissecting a dead subject or 
carving a fowl. 

France has also distinguished itself for its massacres on account of 
religion. Of these, that of the French Protestants, on the Feast of 
St. Bfrtholomew, August 24, 1572, was perhaps, one of the most 
diabolical acts of perfidy and cruelty which have stained the 
character of that nation. Everything connected with this unexampled 
conspiiacy and assassination was atrocious and horrible. Ties of the 
most sacred nature were violated ; superstitious zeal was changed 
into an impious frenzy ; and filial piety degenerated into sanguinary 
fury. Under the direction of the infamous Duke of Guise, the 
soldiers and the populace, en masse, at the signal of the tolling of a 
bell, flew to arms, seizing every weapon that came in their way ; 
and thus rushing in crowds to every quarter of the city of Paris, no 
sound was heard but the terrible cry, "Kill the Huguenots." Every 
one distinguished for being attached to the reformed faith, without 
any distinction of rank, age or sex, was indiscriminately massacred. 
The air resounded with the horrid cries and blasphemous imprecations 
of the murderers, the piercing shrieks of the wounded and the groans 
of the dying. Headless trunks were every moment thrown into the 
court-yards or the streets, the gateways were choked up with the 
bodies of the dead and dying, and the streets presented a spectacle of 
mangled limbs and human beings, dragged by their butchers in order 
to be thrown into the Seine. Hotels and public buildings were 

ch/^lRacter of civilized modern nations. 93 

reeking with blood : death and desolation reigned on every side, and 
in all quarters carts were seen loaded with dead bodies, destined to be 
oast into the river, whose waters were for several days polluted with 
tides of human gore. The infuriated assassin, urged on by the cry 
that " it was the King's will that the very last of this race of vipers 
should be crushed and killed," became still more furious in the 
slaughter ; in proof of which one Cruce, a jeweller, displaying his 
naked and bloody arms, vaunted aloud that he had cut the throats of 
more than four hundred Huguenots in one day. The number of 
victims thus slaughtered in the city of Paris amounted to about 
6000 ; and in the provinces, at the same time, perished about 60,000 
souls. The news of this massacre was welcomed at Rome with the 
most lively transports of joy. The Cardinal of Lorraine gave a large 
reward to the courier, and interrogated him in such a manner upon 
the subject as plainly to indicate that he had been previouslj'' aware 
of the intended catastrophe. Cannons were fired, bonfires were 
kindled, and a solemn mass celebrated at which Pope Gregory XIII. 
assisted, with all the splendor which the Papal Court was accustomed 
to display on the happening of events the most significant and of the 
most important consequences.* 

In the civil wars on account of religion in France, in the early 
part of the seventeenth century, it is computed that about a million 
of men lost their lives ; and nine cities, 400 villages, 2000 churches, 
and 10,000 houses were burned and destroyed during their con- 
tinuance, besides the many thousands of men, women and children, 
which were cruelly butchered ; and 150,000,000 livres were spent in 
carrying forward these slaughters and devastations. It is said of 
Louis XIII., who prosecuted these wars, by one of his biographers and 
penegyrists, Madame de Motteville, that "what gave him the greatest 
pleasure was his thought of driving heretics out of the kingdom, and 
thereby purging the different religions which corrupt and infect the 
Church of God." 

But France has distinguished herself for a fanatical persecuting 
spii'it as well in an atheistical as in a religious or superstitious point 
of view. The first revolution in France, in 1789, was a revolution 
not merely in politics and government, but in religion, in manners, 
and in the common feelings of human nature. It is stated on 
good authority that a little before this revolution a numerous 
assembly of French Literati being asked in turn at one of their 
meetings by their president, " whether there was any such thing as 
moral obligation, answered in every instance that there was not." 

* Memoirs of Henry the Great. 


Soon after that revolution the great body of the French infidels who 
then ruled the nation not only denied all the obligations which bind 
us to truth, justice, and kindness, but pitied and despised, as a con- 
temptible wretch, that man who believed in their existence. Atheism 
was publicly preached and its doctrines disseminated among the mass 
of the people. A professor was even named by Chaumette to 
instruct the children of the state in the myster}^ of Atheism. De La 
Metherie, the author of a philosophical journal, when discussing the 
doctrine of crystallization, made the monstrous assertion, " that the 
highest and most perfect form of crystallization is that which is 
vulgarly called God." In the National Convention, Gobert, Arch- 
bishop of Paris, the Rector Yangirard, and several other priests, 
abjured the Romish religion, and for their abjuration they received 
applause, and the fraternal kiss. The convention decreed that all the 
churches and temples of religious worship, known to be in Paris, 
should be instantly shut up, and that every person requiring the 
opening of a church or temple should be put under arrest as a 
suspected person and an enemy of the State. The consequences of 
the universal operation of such principles, and such a high-handed 
course of procedure on the part of those in authority, were such as 
might have been expected. They are written in characters of blood. 
A scene of inhumanity, cruelty, malignity and insatiable rapacity 
was presented to the world, which excited in the mind of every 
virtuous spectator amazement and horror. Savage atrocities were 
committed, which would have been shocking in the most barbarous 
and unenlightened age ; and perhaps at no time in no country was 
there more licentious practices and more degeneracy displayed. The 
ties of friendship were severed, the claims of consanguinity dis- 
regarded, and a cold-blooded selfishness prevaded the great mass of 
society. " The kingdom appeared to be changed into one great 
prison ; the inhabitants converted into felons, and the common doom 
of a man commuted for the violence of the sword and the bayonet, 
and the stroke of the guillotine." Such was the rapacity with which 
destruction was carried on that, in the short space of ten years, not 
less than three millions of human beings are supposed to have 
perished in that country, chiefly through the out-working of the 
malevolent principles of the human heart, and the seduction of a false 
philosophy. The following is a brief sketch of some of the scenes to 
which we allude, drawn by one who was an eye-witness and an actor in 
several parts of that horrible drama : " There were," says this writer, 
" multiplied cases of suicide, prisons crowded with innocent persons, 
permanent guillotines, perjuries of all classes, parental authority set 
at nought, debauchery encouraged by an allowance for those called 


unmarried mothers, and six thousand divorces in the city of Paris 
within a little more than two years; in a word whatever is the most 
obscene in vice and most dreadful in ferocity."* Notwithstanding 
the incessant shout of "liberty and equality," and the boasted illumi- 
nation of philosophy, the most cruel persecutions were carried on 
against all those whose religious opions differed from the system 
adopted by the State. While infidelity was in power it wielded the 
sword of vengeance with brute ferocity against the priests of the 
Romish Church, who were butchered wherever found, hunted as 
wild beasts, frequently burned alive, or drowned in hundreds together, 
without accusation or trial. At Nantes, 360 priests are said to have 
been shot, and 460 drowned. In one night 58 were shut up in a 
barge, and drowned in the Loire ; 292 priests were massacred during 
the bloody scenes of the 10th of August, and the 2nd September 
1792 ; and 1135 were guillotined under the government of the 
National Convention, from the month of September, 1792, until the 
end of 1795 ; besides vast numbers who, hunted by the infidel repub- 
licans like owls and partridges, perished in different ways throughout 
the provinces of France. The bloody scenes which have been enacted 
in Paris in our own day, when Darboy, the archbishop, and several 
priests, besides thousands of other people, were killed by the Com- 
munists and Nationalists in their mutual struggle, correspond to the 
scenes we have just depicted. And the fact of these infidels or 
atheists, when they came into power, carrying on such violent perse- 
cutions plainly shows that the persecuting spirit is not confined to 
one sect, be they called papist or atheist, but is simply the working 
out of the evil principle in man. Men, however, are always inclined 
to leave the blame of their diabolical actions upon other things than 
themselves, often upon mere names or ideas. We gather also from 
the foregoing history of the reign of atheism in France, that, when a 
nation becomes too enlightened for its established religion or super- 
stition, it is sometimes apt to discard it altogether, and to adopt a sys- 
tem of principles the opposite to those of the old. The same thing takes 
place in the case of individuals. There is danger in such a course, 
and there hardly ever is any necessity of adopting extreme opinions 
upon one side or the other. Changes in the moral world, as in the 
natural take place gradually. A plant does not come to maturity in 
a moment nor a child to manhood in a day. Time is required for 
the intelligent adoption of a creed both by an individual and a 
nation ; and the truth is best arrived at and maintained by preserving 
the mean between opposite extreme opinions. A national religion 

* Gregoire. 


should not be discarded by the state until a better substitute can be 
made for it ; and the new system if established should receive the 
moral support and protection of the government of the state; if not 
established as in republics, where all religions are equally tolerated, 
but yet has become so generally prevalent as virtually to supplant 
the old, it should receive at least the moral support and protection 
of the government. Violent changes in any department of the moral 
world are productive of disorder ; and since, as we have said before, 
the fundamental idea of morality is order, when a change in any de- 
partment of the moral system is required, not only the change itself 
but the best manner in which the change can be brought about is to 
be considered by those who are to effect it. The object of govern- 
ment is not only to preserve order among the people but also to sub- 
serve and advance their interests and highest good ; and the necessity 
of the worship of the Deity being generally recognized as conducive 
to the happiness and order of the people, governments may well 
give their moral support and protection to that system of religion 
which combines simplicity with truth, and which can be practiced 
most intelligently by the masses of the people. 

As corroborative of the idea advanced with respect to the 
licentious character of the French, especially the Parisians, we ex- 
tract the following from Sir Walter Scott's visit to Paris in 1815. 

" The Palais Royale, in whose saloons and porticoes vice has es- 
tablished a public and open school for gambling and licentiousness, 
should be levelled to the ground with all its accursed brothels, and 
gambling houses, rendezvous the more seductive to youth as being free 
from some of those dangers which would alarm timidity, in places of 
avowedly scandalous resort. In the Salon des Etrangers, the most 
celebrated haunt of this Dom-Daniel which I had the curiosity to 
visit, the scene was decent and silent to a degree of solemnity. An 
immense hall was filled with gamesters and spectators. Those 
who kept the bank and managed the affairs of the establish- 
ment Avere distinguished by the green shades they wore to 
preserve their ejes, by their silent and grave demeanor, and by the 
paleness of their countenances exhausted by their constant vigils. 
There was no distinction of persons nor any passport required for 
entrance save that of a decent exterior ; and on the long tables which 
were covered with gold, an artizan was at liberty to hazard his 
week's wages, or a noble his whole estate. Youth and age were 
equally welcome, and any one who chose to play within the limits of 
a trifling sum, had only to accuse his own weakness, if he was drawn 
into deeper or more dangerous hazard. Everything appeared to be 
conducted with the most perfect fairness. The only advantage pos- 


sessed by the bank, which is, however, enormous, is the extent of 
the funds by which it is enabled to sustain any reverse of fortune ; 
whereas most of the individuals who play against the bank are in 
circumstances to be ruined by the fiji'st succession of ill-luck: so that 
ultimatel}^ the small ventures merge in the stock of the principal 
adventurers, as rivers run into the sea. The profits of the establish- 
ment must indeed be very large to support its expenses. Besides a 
variety of attendants who distribute refreshments to the players 
gratis, there is an elegant entertainment with expensive wines, regu- 
larly prepared about three o'clock in the morning for those Avho 
choose to partake of it. With such temptations around him, and where 
the hazarding an insignificant sum seems at first venial or innocent, 
it is no wonder that thousands feel themselves gradually involved in 
the vortex whose verge is so little distinguishable, until they are 
swallowed up with their time, talents, fortune, and frequently also 
both body and soul. This is viae with her fairest vizard ; but the 
same unhallowed precinct contains many a secret cell for the most 
hideous and unheard of debaucheries ; many an open rendezvous of 
infamy, and many a den of usury and treason ; the whole mixed 
with a vanitv fair of shops for jewels, trinkets, and baubles 
that bashfulness may not need a decent pretext for adventur- 
ing into the haunts of infamy. It was there that the preachers 
of revolution found, amidst gamblers, desperadoes and prosti- 
tutes, ready auditors of their doctrines, and active hands to labor in 
their vineyard. It was here that the plots of the Bonepartists were 
adjusted ; and from hence the seduced soldiers, inflamed with many 
a bumper to the health of the exile of Elba, under the mystic names 
of Jean de I'Epee, and Corporal Violet, were dismissed to spread the 
news of his approaching return. In short from this central pit of 
Acheron, in which are openly assembled and mingled those charac- 
ters and occupations, which in all other capitals are driven to hide 
themselves in separate and retired recesses ; from this focus of vice 
and treason have flowed forth those waters of bitterness of which 
France has drank so deeply." Now if such a state of things as is here 
set forth existed at headquarters, right in the departments of the 
Royal Palace, what must we think existed in other and less public 
places in Paris, and in France? The great mass of people are gen- 
erally imitative, inclined to follow the example set them in high 

It has been the custom in the French Capital to register large 
numbers of public women who were made to pay from 25 to 50 dol- 
lars each, monthly, according to their rank, beauty or fashion. 1552 
kept mistresses were noted down by the police ; 380 brothels licensed 


by the prefect, and 12,076 public women were registered in the year 
1803. From the number of divorces it appears that marriage was 
looked upon as a mere temporary connection from which the parties 
might extricate themselves when they pleased, and illegitimate chil- 
dren, especially in Paris, are numerous beyond what thej' are in any 
other city. It seems hardly conceivable that a government should 
debase itself to authorize the practice of such licentiousness as is 
here represented, and to derive a large revenue from such infamous 
and polluted sources. No government Avhich authorizes or counten- 
ances such practices ma}^ expect to thrive or be prepetuated. Such 
practices enervate a people, yea, destroy them body and soul. They 
are sure to bring down upon the nation in which they exist, sooner 
or later, the retributive justice of the Governor of mankind. May 
it not truly be said that the htimiliation to which France was sub- 
jected at the termination of the first empire and in the late war with 
Germany, when her whole armies- were taken into captivity, which 
was succeeded by the mutual slaughter of her own people at Paris, 
were so many viiitations on this people for their wickedness? They 
doubtless were. And not onl}" that, but we fail to see that the sympa- 
thetic refinement, which is derived from a too free intercourse of the 
sexes with each other, while unmarried, is worthy of the name of 
civilization. It is altogether too contemptible and base for the name. 
Men and women should deny themselves if they cannot atford to live 
in honorable marriage. And men and women, be they young or old, 
should prefer to live on the humblest fare and clothed with the coars- 
est garments, even though their means were sufficient to aiford them 
a daintier kind, rather than practice luxurious living, or any species 
of licentiousness, or squander their time and talents which they 
possess in a too free intercourse with each other. Thus from the re- 
view we have been able to give of the moral character of the French, 
as indicated by their history, it is evident that though they are es- 
teemed a civilized nation they are yet far behind true civilization, 
and that, if they ever attain a high national character for morality, 
they will have to alter radically and completely their present moral 
principles and practices. 

In taking a review of the moral character of the Spaniards, as 
indicated by their history, we find it a good deal as we have found 
it in the case of the French. From the earliest historical records Ave 
have of Spain we find that country to have been the scene of savage 
warfare, on which the most ferocious passions were displayed. There 
the Romans, the Goths, the Vandals, the Moors, and the Arabs, fought 
and reigned at different periods. During certain periods of her his- 
tory, Spain possessed great power as a nation, and, as France, she 


attained her power by war, and lost it in the same way. In the em- 
ployment of war, and otherwise, the Spaniards have displayed the 
most savage ferocity, and the most brutal as well as the most refined 
and exquisite cruelty. Spain has always been the champion of the 
Romish religion, and in this country that diabolical tribunal of the 
Inquisition was firmly established and manipulated. Considering 
indeed, the inhuman and refined cruelties which have been practiced 
by Spain on account of religion or superstition, that country may, 
with propriety, be called the peculiar seat of Satan. In the Nether- 
lands alone, from the time that the edict of Charles V. was promul- 
gated against the reformers, more than 100,000 persons were hanged, 
beheaded, buried alive, or burned, on account of professing the re- 
formed religion. The prisons were crowded with supposed heretics, 
and the gibbet, the scaffold and the stake filled every heart with 
terro. The duke of Alva, Spanish general to the Netherlands, and 
his bloodthirsty tribunal, spread universal consternation throughout 
the provinces ; and though the blood of 18,000 persons who in five 
years had been given up to execution for heresy, cried for vengence on 
this persecutor, and his abettors, yet they gloried in their cruelty. 
Philip II., in whose reign these atrocities were committed, 
hearing one day that thirty persons had a little before been burned 
at an Auto da Fe (Act of Faith), required that a like execution 
should be performed in his presence ; and he beheld with joy forty 
victims devoted to torments and to death. One of them, a man of 
distinction requested a pardon : "No," replied he coolly, "were it my 
own son I would give him up to the flames, if he obstinately persist- 
ed in heresy." 

The atrocities which the Spaniards committed on their conquests 
of some of the West Indian Islands, Mexico, and Peru, are almost 
beyond credibility that they should be performed by man, if we did 
not otherwise know the character of that people. The island of His- 
pania was their first settlement in the new world. They forced the 
inhabitants to labor as slaves for them digging gold, and, when the 
object of their cupidity was exhausted, they exterminated them, 
and the other natives most barbarously. Of two millions of inhabi- 
tants which the island contained when discovered by Columbus in 
1492, scarcely 150 were alive in 1545, only about fifty years after- 
wards. The conquest of Mexico by Cortez and his followers was 
marked with equal horrors. During their whole progress through 
that country the route of the Spaniards was marked with carnage, 
injustice, pei'fidy, and deeds of atrocious cruelty. On one occasion 
sixty caciques or chiefs of the Mexican Empire, and 400 nobles were 
burned alive with the utmost coolness and deliberation ; and, to com- 


plete the horrors of the scene, the children and relations of the 
wretched victims were assembled and compelled to be spectators of 
their dying agonies. On another occasion when the inhabitants oi 
the city of Mexico were dressed in their richest decorations, under 
a pretence of a pretended conspiracy, the Spaniards, in order to 
seize upon their valuable ornaments, fell upon them unsuspecting, 
and slaughtered 2000 of the nobles. Every right was violated by 
the Spaniards, which is generally held sacred by hostile nations. On 
every trival occasion the natives were massacred in great numbers, 
their lands apportioned among the Spaniards, the inhabitants reduced 
to the condition of slaves, and forced to labor, without payment, on 
all their public works, while the officers, distributed into different 
provinces, imitated all the excesses and barbarities of their avaricious 

In the seige of Mexico alone no less than 100,000 natives are said 
to have fallen by the sword, besides those who perished by famine 
and other causes connected with warfare ; but, in their retreat from 
the capital, the Spaniards suffered a just retribution for their enor- 
mities, for numbers of them were butchered by the enraged Mexicans, 
and those who were taken alive were carried off in triumph to the 
temples, and sacrificed, with all the cruelty which revenge could 
invent, to the god of war, while their companions at a distance heard 
their dismal screams and piteous lamentations. 

Equal atrocities were committed in the expedition of Pizarro to 
Peru. In order that they might obtain the golden treasures of this 
country, they resorted to the basest treacherj^, and exercised the most 
cold blooded cruelties. Under the fairest professions of amity they 
seized upon the Inca or Emperor of Peru, who had received them in 
a friendly manner and had commanded his attendants to offer the 
strangers no injury, and slaughtered, with deliberate and unrelenting 
fury, above 4000 of his attendants, who never offered the least resist- 
ance, after which they passed the night in the most extravagant 
exultation over the plunder they had acquired from the bodies of the 
slain. The Inca, in order to regain his liberty, promised them as 
many vessels of gold as would fill an apartment 22 feet long, 16 feet 
wide, and 8 feet high, and, after having collected the promised 
treasure from all parts of his kingdom, and fulfilled his agreement, 
they not long after, under the most frivolous pretext, condemned 
him to be burned alive. The booty they acquired by such atrocious 
means amounted to about ten millions of dollars in gold. The day 
appointed for the division of this prey was the festival of St. James, 
the patron saint of Spain ; and, although assembled to divide the 
spoils of an unoffending people, obtained by treachery, cruelty and 


slaughter, they had the hypocrisy and audacity to commence the 
transaction with a solemn invocation of the name of God, as if they 
expected heaven's blessing to descend upon the wages of their iniquity. 
It would be difficult to conceive that any beings exist in any region 
of the universe with worse moral character than these Spaniards 
proved themselves to be ; and it shows what an ineffably bad being 
man is capable of becoming when he chooses to work out the evil 
principles of his nature, and to give reins to his depraved passions 
and propensities. Here, indeed, we find the one characteristic 
extreme, that of badness ; let us see before we finish our review 
of the nations called civilized, whether we shall be able to find the 
other extreme, that of goodness ; for in the beginning of this re- 
view we stated that the two extremes exist in principle in man, 
either of which he maj^ develop if he chooses, to an almost unlimited 

The savage practice of bull-fighting which was long in vogue in 
Spain, and which fascinated all classes from the prince to the peasant, 
presented spectacles of suffering of animals and men at which one 
may be allowed to shudder. It is said they were prohibited in 1805, 
to the deep regret of the most numerous part of the nation, and that 
another entertainment, an image of the bull-fight, was substituted in 
their place, and is still in some places retained. The bull-fights may 
be said to have represented the gladiatorial shows which were held 
at Rome, and in the principal cities of the Roman empire for many 
centuries ; in which gladiators (swordsmen) trained for the purpose — 
for the most part slaves or prisoners of war^fought with wild beasts 
for the entertainment of the people, who, in great numbers, surrounded 
the amphitheatre. These gladiatorial exhibitions were abolished by 
the Emperor Honorius, in A.D. 404. 

The cruel practice of the bull-fight does not argue a high state of 
civilization for the nations that delight in it. Under an impression 
of his great superiority in the scale of being, over the brute creation, 
man has always been accustomed to treat the lower orders of animals 
with excessive cruelty. This, however, does not seem so much to be 
wondered at since he is so cruel to his own kind ; it is all the work- 
ing out of the evil principle within him. We may assume with cer- 
tainty that the sufferings of these bulls and horses, wounded and 
dying, were quite as intense and exquisite, as were tliose of the 
wounded and dying men. And these animals were equally worthy 
of pity, if not more so, since they were not the cause of their suffer- 
ings, which was altogether unnecessary, and could as well have been 
avoided, and since they could not speak to make their sufferings 
known. Men should remember that the lower orders of animals have 


feelings as they have themselves, and are susceptible in most cases, 
if not all, of as exquisite pain and suffering. We are often very 
much affected at seeing animals, especially horses, treated with such 
inconsideration and cruelty. They are made to di-aw too heavy 
loads, to travel too fast and to vk^ork too long hours, upon, perhaps, a 
scanty allowance of food by men who seem as thoughtless as they 
are themselves and infinitely more cruel. We have been a short time 
ago in a large city where the practice is to a great extent to yoke but 
one horse to a hack, which in all other cities with which we are 
acquainted is accustomed to be drawn by two horses, and still this 
horse is made to travel equally fast up and down hill, and to draw 
equally heavy loads (as many as they can get into the carriage), as 
if there were two horses attached. When men come to know what 
they really are, and that all other animals have feelings as well as 
themselves, and are as susceptible of pain and suffering ; that they 
are always under the Creator's eye, who is everywhere present to see 
and know what they do ; and that they are accountable for the man- 
ner in which thej^ treat these animals which he has entrusted to their 
care, which are also His creatures, they will then recognize the 
propriety, as well as necessity, of treating their animals more 
considerately and better than they have generally hitherto been 
accustomed to treat them. 

The empire of Austria has long been a leading state in Europe. 
Until the ascendancy of Prussia in our day she had the pre-em- 
inence among the German States. Like Russia and Prussia, in later 
times, she made herself great at the expense of her neighbors, 
absorbing one neighboring state after another until she attained her 
present dimensions. She comprises in her dominions various nations 
and languages, and her people generally are less enlightened than 
are the other German nations. The prevailing religion in Austria 
is that of Rome, and this nation like France has always been a stout 
supporter of the Papacy. As that state rose out of part of the 
Roman Empire, and has always been under the influence of Rome, 
most that will be necessary to sa}^ here with regard to its moral 
character is that it partook of the character of the Roman Empire 
in its two aspects of civil and religious, and the character of the 
Roman Empire we shall have to speak of more fully in the latter 
part of this book. Savage warfare has always there been jDracticed ; 
the principles of the Inquisition have there been carried out; and 
the Romish Churcli, as in other European states, has for many cen- 
turies there held sway both over the souls and bodies of men. So 
that in our review of the moral character of Rome, which will have 
especial reference to the doings of the Roman Church, we may have 


glimpses of that of Austria, as Austria since her rise has always been 
a principal member of that Church. 

The modern Kingdom of Italy has very lately been formed. 
From a comparatively limited extent of territory, comprised in the 
state of Sardinia, Victor Emmanuel, with the assistance of some able 
and talented statesmen, has extended his dominions over all Ital}''. 
He has even added the Papal States to his dominions and made the 
city Rome his national capital. He is a man who (whatever his 
secret motives may have been, they are best known to himself), for 
doing so well for his people and for humanity at large, in the cir- 
cumstances in which he was placed, is entitled to the consideration 
and respect of all civilized nations, and of all good people. Much 
fault has been found with him by Roman Catholics for having ap- 
propriated the Papal States ; but in appropriating the Papal domin- 
ions he only took away from the Pope what did not belong to the 
Pope, and what, according to the voice of the people, the Pope was 
misgoverning, and restored to the Kingdom of Italy its ancient capi- 
tal. The Popes have been accustomed to claim the Papal States 
and the city Rome as their dominions by right of donation by Con- 
stantine, which donation they claimed to have been confirmed nearly 
five hundred years after by Charlemagne. But history goes to prove 
the said donation of Constantino to have been a fiction, most proba- 
bly of the eighth century, and its confirmation by Charlemagne to 
have been no better ; for although both Pepin, the father of Charle- 
magne, and Charlemagne himself had pretended to make gifts and 
promises to the Popes of these dominions, yet Charlemagne at his 
death reckoned the city of Rome and the territories nominally gov- 
erned by the Pope as part of his dominions ; of this we may have 
occasion to speak again in the latter part of this work. The Pope, 
therefore, had no right to the dominion of Rome except the right of 
possession ; and the vote taken in the Papal dominions to ascertain 
the will of the people on the subject plainly proved that they wished 
the government transferred to the King of Italy. It was then a 
matter of duty as well of right for him to assume the government of 
the Papal dominions. It is much to be hoped that he will proceed 
even farther in his laudable course, and, as he has been the liberator of 
Italy civilly, become also its liberator religiously from the shackles 
of Popish or Romish idolatry. The Italians only need to become 
more generally and liberally educated in order to fit them for this 
more perfect freedom. But to this universal education they need 
to be encouraged, and assisted, and as in Prussia, required to attend 
by the government. In time past in that country education was not 
only not permitted or encouraged, put positively interdicted. A 


royal Sardinian edict, published in 1825, " directs that henceforth 
no person shall learn to read or write, who cannot prove the posses- 
sion of property above the value of 1500 livres (about 300 dollars). 
The qualification for a student is the possession of an income to the 
same amount." The people of Italy, as well as those of the other 
European states, have too long been prevented from education, and 
kept enslaved, body and mind, by the diversified machinery of the 
civil and religious power of the Catholic church. But Italy, as the 
other European states, is a warlike power, and maintains a large 
standing army ; yet it is hoped that, in the process of time, when her 
people have become enlightened by education and true religion, 
Italy, which has been the scene of so many conflicts, and has drunk 
the blood of so many myriads of the human race, shall become a 
peaceful nation ; her government joining heartily with the other 
civilized nations in disbanding their armies and police, and in inau- 
gurating and maintaing a reign of peace and righteousness in the 
world. There is much to be done, and some time will be required, 
in bringing the people of Italy, as well as of the other European 
nations, to that degree of enlightenment and civilization which we 
wish they had now attained. The sooner the movement is made in 
the direction we have indicated, and persistently carried out, the 
sooner will this great end be attained. The present and future 
rulers of Italy and of each of the other European states may, if they 
but will, do much toward the enlightenment and highest good of 
their people. 

England is a nation of great power and influence. If it be en- 
quired by what means this nation has come by her dominions, it may 
be answered that it was mainly by force of arms. The seven states 
of the Saxon Heptarchy waged war among themselves. After they 
had become united and their power became concentrated, England, 
under the Norman and other princes, carried on destructive wars 
with Scotland, Wales, Ireland and France, in the last-named country 
of which she maintained her power for some centuries. Scotland, 
however became united to England in more modern times and by 
peaceable means ; and the rise of the English power to its present 
state has been mainly accomplished since the union of these two 
countries nearly three centuries ago, since when the united nation has 
been called Great Britain. By her conquests on sea she has secured the 
possession of extensive colonial territories, and by the maintenance 
of a great naval power she retains them. England's naval wars have 
been destructive of life, and very fertile in the increase of her power. 
Her wars with France, with the Dutch, with her own colonies in 
America, with Russia, with India and China, have been ferociously 


carried on, and with great loss of life and property to the people of 
these countries as well as to herself. By savage warfare, then, Eng- 
land has attained and maintains her power and influence among the 
nations of the earth. 

Without adverting to the oppressive landlord and tax system 
■which is in practice in great Britain and Ireland, by means of which 
the great mass of the people cannot do much more in the acquisition 
of wealth than obtain a bare subsistence, in order the better to illus- 
trate the moral character of Great Britain as a nation, we shall bring 
forward one or two instances of the manner in which she accumulated 
her wealth. 

In another age it will perhaps scarcely be believed, and in this 
age it is very little known, that Great Britain, distinguished for her 
zeal in propagating Christianity throughout the heathen world, has 
for many years derived a revenue from the worship of the idol Jug- 
gernaut, and other idols of similar description at Gya, Allahabad, 
Trepetty, and other places in Hindostan. From the year 1813 to 
1826, there was collected, by order of the British Government, 
from the pilgrims of Juggernaut alone about 1,360,000, rupees or 
$850,000, a great part of which was given to the support and main- 
tenance of the abominable worship of this idol. Dr. Buchanan, in 
his " Christain Researches," states, from official accounts, that the 
annual expense of the idol Juggernaut presented to the British Gov- 
ernment is as follows : 


Expenses of the table of tlie idol 36,115 or 22,570 

Expenses of Ids wearing apparel 2,712 or 1,695 

Wages of his servants 10,057 or 6,295 

Contingent expenses at the different seasons of pilgrimage. .. . 10,989 or 6,865 

Expenses of his elephants and horses 3,030 or 1,890 

" of his annual state carriage or car, and tower of the 

idol 6,713 or 4,195 

Rup. 69,616 $43,510 
Forty-three thousand five hundred and ten dollars, paid annually 
by the British Government for the support of one idol, Juggernaut ! 
Some of our readers will say they never expected that Britain, which 
has displayed so much zeal in the dissemination of Bibles and Testa- 
ments and Tracts and orthodox Christain doctrine, would be guilty 
of any such practice. In the item "wages of servants" is included 
the wages of the courtesans that are kept for the service of the 

Mr. Hunter, the collector of the pilgrim tax for 1806, told Mr. 
Buchanan that three state carriages were decorated that year at an 
expense of upwards of one thousand dollars, with English broadcloth 


and baize. The following items show the gain of this association 
with idolataiy at some of the principal idol stations in India : — 


Net receipt of Pilgrim tax at Juggernaut for 1815 135,667 

at Gya for 1816 182,876 

" " at Allahabad for 1816 73,053 

" " at Kasliee-poor, Surkuree, Sumbal and Kawa, 1816 5,683 

" " at Tripetty and Madras for 1811 152,000 


A rupee, though generally considered to be only of the value of 
half a crown or about sixty cents,*' is said to be received in the case 
of the pilgrims of India as equivalent in value to one pound sterling 
or five dollars to an inhabitant of England ; so that in this point of 
view rupees may be considered as equivalent to pounds sterling or 
five dollar pieces. 

Mr. Hamilton, in his " description of Hindostan," as quoted by 
Mr. Peggs in his " Pilgrim Tax in India," states, with respect to the 
district of Tanjore, that " in almost every village there is a temple 
with a lofty gateway of massive architecture, where a great many 
Brahmins are maintained partly by an allowance from government. 
The Brahmins are here extremel}^ loyal on account of the protection 
they receive, and also for an allowance granted them by the British 
Government, of 45,000 pagodas or 18,000 pounds annually, which is 
distributed for the support of the poorer temples." One can scarcely 
conceive of anything more inconsistent than the conduct of a nation, 
that professes itself to be Christian and will not allow that it is idol- 
atrous, supporting a system of idolatry the most revolting, cruel, 
lascivious and profane ? Yet a member of the British Parliament, 
C. Bullen, Esq., in his letter to the Court of Directors relative to 
Juggernaut in 1813, says : " I cannot see what possible objection 
there is to the continuance of an established tax, particularly when 
it is taken into considei'ation what large possessions in land and 
money are allowed by our government in all parts of the country for 
keeping up the religious institutions of the Hindoos, and the Mussul- 
mans." From all parts of India multitudes of idol-worshij)pers or 
pilgrims annually travel many hundred miles to pay homage to the 
different idols alluded to above. A tax is levied on those pilgrims 
graduated according to the rank or circumstances of the pilgrim, 
and amounting from one to twenty or thirty rupees. Those travel- 
ling to Allahabad, for example, are taxed at the following rates ; on 
ever}^ pilgrim on foot, one rupee ; on every pilgrim w"ith a horse oi 
a palanquin, two rupees ; on every pilgrim with an elephant, twenty 

* This is the silver rupee; the gold rupee is valued at 298. 2d. = $7.00. 


rupees, etc. Vast numbers of deluded people flock to these temples 
every year. 

In 1825, the number that arrived at Juggernaut was estimated at 
225,000, and in some years they have been calculated to amount to 
more than a million. The deprivations and miseries endured by these 
people are almost inconceivable. Dr. Buchanan, who visited the 
temple of Juggernaut in 1806, gives the following statement: " Num- 
bers of pilgrims die on the road, and their bodies generally lie un- 
buried. On a plain near the pilgrim caravansera, one hundred miles 
from Juggernaut, I saw more than one hundred skulls ; the dogs, 
jackals, and vultures seem to live here on human prey. Wherever I 
turn my eyes I meet death in one shape or other. From the place 
where I now stand, I have a view of a host of people, like an army, 
encamped at an outer gate of the the town of Juggernaut, where a 
guard of soldiers is posted to prevent them from entering the town 
until they have paid the tax. A pilgrim announced that he was 
ready to offer himself a sacrifice to the idol. He' laid himself down 
on the road before the car as it was moving along with his arms 
stretched forward. The multitude passed him leaving the space clear 
and he was crushed to death by the wheels. How much I wished 
that the proprietors of Indian stock would have attended the wheels 
of Juggernaut, and seen this peculiar source of their revenue. I be- 
held a distressing scene this morning in the place of skulls, a poor 
woman lying dead or nearly so with her two children by her, looking 
at the dogs and vultures, which were near. The people passed by 
without noticing the children. I asked them where was their home, 
they said they had no home, but where their mother was. Oh, there 
is no pity at Juggernaut. Those who support his kingdom err, I 
trust from ignorance ; they know not what they do." 

"The loss of life," says Colonel Phipps, "by this superstition 
probably exceeds that of any other. The aged, the weak, the sick, 
are persuaded to attempt this pilgrimage, as a remedy for all evils. 
The number of women and children is also very great, and they leave 
their families and their occupations to travel immense distances with 
the delusive hope of obtaining eternal bliss. Their means of subsis- 
tence on the road are scanty, and their light clothing and little 
bodily strength are little calculated to encounter the inclemency of 
the weather. When they approach the temple they find scarcely 
enough left to pay the tax to government, and to satisfy the rapacious 
Brahmins ; and, on leaving Juggernaut Avith a long journey before 
them, their means of support are often quite exhausted. The work 
of death then becomes rapid, and the route of the pilgrims may be 
traced by the bones left by the jackals and vultures, and the dead 


bodies may be seen in every direction." It may be said, therefore, 
without any extravagance, that a certain portion of the British nation 
luxuriate upon the nicest dainties, and the choicest finery derived 
from the intolerable sufferings and the life's blood of the Hindoos ! 
Do they ? With regard to the number that perish on such occasions, 
Rev. Mr. Ward estimates that 4000 pilgrims perish every year on the 
route to and at holy places, an estimate which is considered by others 

as far below the truth. Captain F estimates those who died at 

Cuttack and Pooree, and between the two stations, at 5000. What 
a number of these deluded wretches must die before they reach their 
homes, many of them coming three, six, or nine hundred miles ! Mr. 

M , the European collector of the tax at Pooree, estimated the 

mortality at 20,000. 

Juggernaut is the most celebrated station of idolatry in India. 
All the land within twenty miles is regarded as holy; but the most 
sacred spot is enclosed by a wall 21 feet high, forming a square of 
about 65 feet. Within this area there are about fifty temples, but 
the most conspicuous building consists of one lofty stone tower, 184 
feet high and 282- feet square inside. The idol Juggernaut, his 
brother Bulbudra, and his sister Subadra occupy this tower. The 
roofs are ornamented with representations of monsters : the walls of 
the temple are covered with statues of stone, representing Hindoo 
gods with their wives in attitudes grossly indecent. The three idols 
alluded to are wooden busts six feet high, having a resemblance of 
the human head, and are painted white, yellow and black, with 
frightfully grim and distorted countenances. They are clothed with 
spangled broadcloth furnished from the export warehouse of the 
British Government. The car on which Juggernaut is drawn meas- 
ures 43-i feet high, has 16 wheels of 6^ feet diameter, and a platform 
34i feet square. The ceremonies connected with this idolatrous wor- 
ship are in many cases exceedingly revolting and obscene. At Rani- 
but, in the Province of Gurwall, is a temple sacred to Rajah Ishwara, 
which is principally inhabited by dancing women. The initiation 
into this society is performed by anointing the head with oil taken 
from the lamp, placed before the altar, by which act they make a 
formal abjuration of their parents and kindred, devoting their future 
lives to prostitution ; and the British Government by giving annually 
512 rupees to the religious mendicants who frequent this temple, 
directly sanction this system of obscenity and pollution? Many 
temples of impurity exist in other places in Hindostan. Tavernier 
mentions a village in which there is a pagoda to which all the Indian 
courtesans come to make their offerings. This pagoda is decorated 
with a great number of naked images. Girls of eleven and twelve 


years old, who have been bought and educated for the purpose, are 
sent by their mistresses to this pagoda to offer and surrender them- 
selves to this idol. If, as we have seen, the French Government 
authorize prostitution at home, what do they more than the British 
Government does in India, only that they act a little more directly 
in the matter? Such an abominable practice is sure to bring its 
equivalent measure of punishment, sooner or later, upon the nation 
whose government allows or supports it. 

In order to induce ignorant devotees to leave their homes, and 
commence pilgrimages to these scenes of impurity and idolatry a set 
of avaricious villains, termed pilgrim-hunters, are employed to tra- 
verse the country, and by all manner of falsehoods to proclaim the 
greatness of Juggernaut and their idols. They declare, for example, 
that the idol has now so fully convinced his conquerors (the British) 
of his divinity, that they have taken his temple under their own 
superintendency, and that they expend 60,000 rupees yearly to pro- 
vide it with an attendance suitable to his dignity. These pilgrim- 
hunters are paid hy the British Grovemment. If one of them can march 
out 1,000 persons and persuade them to undertake the journey, he 
receives 1,500 rupees if they be of the lower class, and 3,000 rupees 
if they are persons belonging to the highest classes. And, what 
seems a very natural consequence, the procedure of the British Gov- 
ernment in relation to this S3^stem has led many of the natives to sup- 
pose that the British people approve o'f the idolatrous worship estab- 
lished in India. A Hindoo enquired of a missionary : " If Jugger- 
naut be nothing why does the company take so much money from 
those who come to see him ? " Mr. Lacy, a missionary, who went to 
succour the destitute on the road to Cuttack, during one of the festi- 
vals, relates the following incident : " You would have felt your heart 
moved to hear, as I did, the natives say : — ' Your preaching is a lie, 
for, if your Saviour and your religion are thus merciful, how do you 
then take away the money of the poor and suffer him to starve ? It 
is indeed no wonder that when the natives see a poor creature lying, 
about to die for want, they should reflect that the two rupees he has 
paid as a tax would have supported his life." Nor should itbe a pleas- 
ing reflection to an English mind that these two rupees form precise- 
ly the difference between life and death to many who have perished 
for want on their way home." Another missionary relates : "Passing 
one evening a large temple I caught a sight at one of the idols and 
exclaimed, sinful, sinful ! ! The native who was with me asked : 
' Sir, is that sinful for which the company gives thousands ? ' A 
man said to me a few days ago, ' If the government does not forsake 
Juggernaut, how can you expect that we should ? ' " In this way 



the efforts of the Christian missionaries to convert the Hindoos are 
in ma"ny instances rendered of no avail. Could not the British na- 
tion endure to be less wealthy, and refrain from increasing their 
stock of riches by the support and encouragement of such a polluted 
system of idolatry, attended with such an amount of suffering, depri- 
vation and death to the people of India? But, doubtless, the great 
body of the British people are ignorant of any such practice "being 
authorized or countenanced by their government. Or, do the Brit- 
ish Government carry on this vile business till now ? People should 
prefer to live on herbs, and go clothed in the coarsest garments, 
rather than luxuriate on the most delicious fare, clothed in the finest 
and costliest garments, derived from such an unspeakably abominable 
and polluted source. 

Another olaring- instance of British moral or immoral character 
is found in their imposition by force of the drug opium upon the 
Chinese. We have stated before that opium is derived fi-om the 
juice of the poppy plant, which is cultivated largely in India. We 
shall now state some facts in relation to this subject from the work 
of a late writer on China, a Christian missionary, who has lived 
among the Chinese for a number of years, and is fully conversant 
with this subject:* " The profits of the opium trade to Great Britain 
are enormous; not less than twenty to twenty-five millions of dollars 
a year. According to the estimate of an English newspaper, publish- 
ed in China,! the total profits from the time when the trade began 
until the jear 1854 were, in round numbers, three hundred and ten 
millions of dollars, and from that time to the present it is three hun- 
dred and forty millions more. The total is about six hundred and 
fifty millions in sycee silver, that is, silver without alloy paid by 
weight. This is the actual net profit to the producer upon a trade 
which amounts to from sixty to eighty thousand chests a year, which 
are worth in all from forty to sixty millions of dollars. The extent 
of the responsibility of the British Government for the production 
and sale of opium I prefer," says the writer, "to state in the words of 
one of its own subjects. The Calcutta correspondent of the London 
Times thus presents the case for the consideration of the readers of 
that influential paper : ' What,' says he, ' are the facts ? As to Ben- 
gal, I have gone through the poppy fields of Shahabad, and have wit- 
nessed every detail of the manipulation in the enormous go-downs of 
Patna. Under a severe contract law, twice as penal as any that has 
ever been proposed for ordinary agricultural purposes, and scouted 

* " China and the United States," by Wm. Speer, D.D., a missionary of the American Pres- 
byterian Board. 

t The North China Herald of Shanghai. 


by England, advances of money are annually made to the peasants 
of Behar, Benares, and elsewhere.* The state lies out of these ad- 
vances for a year. Its establishment of highly-paid officials, and 
oppressive or colluding native subordinates, supervises every detail, 
the preparation of the fields, the sowing, the weeding, the scraping 
of the capsules, the collection of the crude juice, its transit to the 
state factory, and its sale in Calcutta. Yet, in spite of its establish- 
ments, smuggling is the rule. The state of the case is this : China 
will have opium just as England will have gin, and Scotland whiskey. 
All facts go to show that the abuse of opium in China, though great, 
is by no means equal to that of alcohol in Europe. The moral ques- 
tion is, not whether China may be supplied with opium, but whether 
England as a nation, as the ruling power of India, ought, in its official 
and national character, to grow, manufacture, and export the drug, 
the use of which has, after two or three wars, been legalized in China. 
Yet this is the position of England at this moment in relation to 
three-fourths of the opium imported from India ? What is the effect 
of the opium trade upon Christian missions ? The writer and every 
man who has been engaged in the work of preaching the gospel, 
healing the sick, instructing the young, and disseminating the word 
of God, knows that the incessant and bitter objection urged by all 
classes to his efforts is that it is impossible that nations which 
carry opium in the right hand can carry any boon of mercy in the 
left. It (the opium traffic) is planting seeds of enervation, crime, 
and disease in the Chinese, who are coming to our shores, and crea- 
ting corresponding vexation and injury to us ; it keeps the sword ot 
war continually unsheathed and wet with blood, the torch of confla- 
gration constantly burning, and every puff of hostile wind distribu- 
ting its sparks amidst materials which are ever ready to burn hotly ; 
it makes the benevolent efforts of the preacher of the Gospel of mercy 
and of the Christian physician and teacher appear like shallow and 
abominable hypocrisy, and the word of God itself something false 
and hateful when offered by hands imbrued with so stupendous a 
crime against humanity and justice, against the conscience of man, 
and against the law of Heaven." Here we find a Christian nation 
itself the cause of the Gospel being virtually excluded from China, 
with its teeming population of four hundred millions of people. The 
same author says : " Would that it were possible to say that the 
hands of American merchants have not been stained by connivance 

* It will be remembered that the opium is grown in British India, and is thence exported to 
China, and that the British Government has, by means of war, compelled the Chinese Govern- 
ment to admit it to their country, in which its sale is now legalized, as is well known by the 
latter to the great detriment of the Chinese people. 


witli the crime of the opium trade in China ! "We are grateful to 
God that it has not been made ' an official and national business to 
grow, manufacture and export the drug ' by any other nation than 
Great Britain, and its Indian dependencies. But our ships have 
helped to convey and distribute the poison ; our merchants have par- 
taken to some extent of the profits of the work ; and we have given 
it a garment of respectability by the deceitful j)leas with which we 
have palliated its enormity."' That unjust practice of forcing its 
commodities upon other nations against their will has of old been 
the policy of England. The reader may remember that the war which 
resulted in the independence of the United States, which until then 
were British colonies, arose from the British Government having un- 
dertaken to compel the colonists to receive its cargoes of tea against 
their will. In the case of the Americans they did not succeed in 
their undertaking, but in that of the Chinese they did after two or 
three wars, so that now the sale and use of the drug is legalized in 
that country. Great Britain, therefore, notwithstanding the progress 
she has made in the sciences and the arts, and the great efforts she 
has made in the dissemination of religious and other kind of knowl- 
edge, has yet much national injustice to answer for, and still far to 
advance before she has attained to true civilization, of which the 
practice of true Christian morality is the beginning and the ending : 
" Do unto others as you would have others do unto you." 

Another unfavorable feature in the moral character of the British 
nation is the severity of its penal code. Among the variety of actions 
which men are daily liable to commit no less than 160 have been 
declared by Act of Parliament to be felonies without benefit of 
clergy, or in other words, to be worthy of instant death. Those who 
are found guilty of high treason are condemned by the law " to be 
hanged on a gallows for some minutes, then cut down while yet 
alive, the heart to be taken out and exposed to view, and the entrails 
burned." Though the most cruel part of this statute is said never 
to have been inflicted in modern times, yet its existence on the 
statute-book (does it now exist?) is a disgrace to the British nation, 
a disgrace which should be got rid of as quickly and as far as possi- 
ble. Instead of diminishing the number of offenders experience 
teaches that crimes are almost uniformly increased by an undue 
severity of punishment. This was strikingly exemplified in the 
reign of Henry VIII. , remarkable indeed for the number of its 
crimes, which certainly does not seem to have arisen from mildness 
of punishment. In that reign alone, says his historian, 72,000 exe- 
cutions took place /or robberies alone ; exclusive of the religious mur- 
ders, which are known to have been so numerous as to amount, on 


an avorage, to six executions a day, Sundays included, during tlie 
whole reign of that monarch.* The design of the institution of gov- 
ernment is, or ought to be, to subserve the benefit of the governed, 
to advance their highest interests ; but the government which will 
carry on such a wholesale slaughter among its people as that under 
the English raonarchs did seems certainly to have another object in 
view, not for the benefit, but for the injury and destruction of its 

If we enquire after the moral character of the United States as a 
nation, we shall find that it, too, has been affected with many of 
those imperfections which we have seen so glaringly to be in the 
case of those we have reviewed. By war it attained its existence as 
a nation, and by the exercise of war it has maintained its independ- 
ence and integrity, as well as extended its dominions. By the 
war of the revolution, ending in 1776, the independence was 
achieved, and by that of 1812 it was maintained. The United 
States has also carried on a war with Mexico, as a result of which 
the territories of the former have been extended westward to the Rio 
Grande and the Pacific Ocean, over Southern California. The States 
have also carried on another great war with its own people, dark and 
fratricidal in its character, and which, though it may be thought to 
be productive of many good results, yet there are many reasons to 

It appears that the wars which the first colonists carried on with 
the Indian tribes arose from their peculiar position in relation to 
those tribes ; but there are reasons to believe that the Indians were 
taken advantage of in too many cases by the white settlers of the 
Atlantic States. In their advance inland they drove the Indians 
before them, and gradually exterminated them as they advanced. If 
it be enquired what has become of all the Indian tribes which once 
inhabited the Northern, the Southern, and the Western States to the 
Mississippi River ; what has become of all the Indians that three 
centuries ago inhabited the Continent of America now thickly in- 
habited by white people ? The answer is plain ; they have in the 
main been exterminated by the whites, gradually, b}* means of war, 
and secretly. Many strange but likely stories are told by some of 
the old settlers around the Great Lakes of the ways in which they 
have known the Indians to be got rid of. And the means employed 
in one section of the country to get rid of them, or means equally 
effective, may also have been employed in other sections for the 
same purpose. Some of the Indians, doubtless, made their way into 

* Hume: Keign of Hcny VIII. 


Britisli America, still beyond the reach of the whites, and some of 
them are provided for by the United States Government in territo- 
ries apportioned to them for a residence ; but the greater part of the 
Indians must necessarily have suffered extermination by the whites 
in their gradual settlement of the country. Since the formation of 
the United States Government, however, the Indians that have sub- 
mitted to it have been liberally dealt with, and a like liberal treat- 
ment has always been given by the British Government to the In- 
dians settled within their North American possessions. And it may, 
perhaps, be considered that the Indians by their uncalled-for aggres- 
sions on the ncAv comers, were, to a great extent, the cause of their 
own destruction. The two races might have lived together peace- 
ably and prosperously if they had mutually cultivated and exercised 
toward each other the proper temper and spirit, — there was abun- 
dant room for all on the wide Contient of America, — but they were 
mutually jealous, it appears, and suspicious of each other ; either did 
not feel themselves safe in the neighborhood of the other ; and 
thus arose their mutual warfare. Heretofore, in the history of man- 
kind we observe that when two races, speaking different languages, 
and differing from each other, perhaps, only triflingly in other res- 
pects, came face to face on the same soil, human barbarity has gener- 
ally necessitated the yielding of the one to the other. Instead of 
the principle of benevolence, that of malevolence is usually practised 
in such cases. Cannot a new era, an era of benevolence, of self- 
denial, of humility and peaceful industry be inaugurated? It can, 
if each one living will do their part towards it by always cultivating 
and exercising the right temper and spirit. 

The existence of slavery so long in the United States was the 
greatest moral reproach to the nation. The way, also, in which it 
was got rid of is a reproach. The pride and haughtiness of certain 
individuals of the rival parties — slave and free — kindled the flame 
of war, which for four years waged with such destructive violence. 
The result of the war — the abolition of slavery — was great, but how 
much better it would have been had the same result been accom- 
plished by peaceful measures and means. Slavery is an evil, which 
«very one must conscientiously know to be an evil, but because, an 
■evil exists must an equal evil be perpetrated in order to get rid of 
it ? Should the proud hearts of the leaders of the South and North 
not bend to an act of legislation by which the slaves might be eman- 
cipated by means of an equitable purchase, and slavery abolished? 
The thing was not impracticable, for it had been done before by the 
British Government in the case of their West Indian slaves. Or, on 
the other hand, should not those who held the slaves in bondage 


have acted benevolently toward them and set them free, and put them 
to work at a fair wages? It is time that such benevolence v^ere ex- 
ercised by human beings toward each other. It is said to be more 
blessed to give than to receive. Men have but a short time to live 
on this earthly scene, and though they be rich or poor, they will be 
all the happier and better for doing all the good that lies in their 
power, by acting benevolently and beneficently towards each other. 
There is no doubt of this. Let each one realize it for one's self. 
Your Creator is everywhere present, recognizes all your acts, and 
will be sure to reward the good acts, and, if you are unable to act, 
the good-will and intentions. You are also an accountable being, and 
wi]^ in yourself experience the consequences of your evil, whether of 
omission or of commission. A small moiety of the treasure which was 
expended in carrying on that atrocious war — the result of pride and sel- 
fishness in a few — might have been sufficient to have bought the slaves 
out at a fair price. And how many fathers, and husbands, and brothers, 
and sons, whom that war has laid low, would now be alive, a help 
and a comfort to their friends, and a blessing to their country ! The 
emancipated negroes would be equally well off, — perhaps better, — 
the country much more prosperous, and the people much happier. 
America, both South and North, would thus have given proof of a 
higher state of civilization, and of a higher moral character, than it 
now can be admitted to have attained. How long before men come 
to realize that their duty is to deny self, to subdue and eradicate 
pride, and to act benevolently and charitably towards each other ! May 
there not be less crime of a private and of a public nature cominitted 
in the United States ? Will not each individual, old and young, 
male and female, in the republic, leave nothing undone which they 
can do to bring about the era of righteousness, and peace, when all 
shall enjoy and be satisfied with the fruits of their own integrity, in- 
dustry and strictly moral living ? The country which has hitherto 
been the refuge of the poor and oppressed of all nations may thus be 
rendered of still greater benefit to mankind. 

Third, Illustrations from the nations called civilized especially in their 
religious aspect ; First, from the history of the Catholic Church of 
the Roman Empire. 

Heretofore in our review of the moral character of the civilized 
nations we have spoken of Rome and its empire with reference mainly 
to its civil aspect. Now we shall enquire what information history 
affords us as to the character and doings of the Catholic Church, 
whose head was the Pope. Hitherto we have not found that the 


nations called civilized ave exalted to a very great degree above 
those called uncivilized, in point of true moralit}- (although they 
are exalted in some degree), so that our readers may ere this have 
begun to suppose that if the nations called civilized have much in 
their moral character to entitle them to the name civilized, it must 
be found in the religion they profess. We shall see. 

The New Testament teaches us of the characters of the founders 
of the Christian Church. They are all said to have been men dis- 
tinguished for self-denial, for humility, for charity, and for active in- 
dustry in the cause which the}^ espoused, and endeavored to promote. 
During the early ages of Christianity- a goodly portion of the same 
spirit was manifested by the greater number of those who enrolled 
themselves as the followers of Christ. Even in the midst of the re- 
proaches and persecutions to which they were subjected during the 
two first centuries of the Christian era, a meek and forgiving dispo- 
sition, and a spirit of benevolence towards one another, and toward 
all mankind, distinguished them from the heathen around and con- 
strained even their enemies to exclaim : " Behold how these Christ- 
ians love one another ! " But no sooner was the Church combined 
with the State in the days of Constantine than its native purity be- 
gan to be sullied, and Pagan maxims and worldl}- ambition began to 
be blended with the pure doctrines of Christianity. Many of its 
professed adherents, overlooking the grand practical bearings of the 
Christian system, began to indulge in vain speculations concerning 
its doctrines whicli they could not understand ; to substitute a 
number of unmeaning rites and ceremonies in the place of love to 
God and man, and even to persecute, and destroy all those who re- 
fused to submit to their opinions and decisions. Pride and ambition 
usurped th^ place of humility and meekness, and the foolish mum- 
meries of monastic and ascetic superstition and austerity were sub- 
stituted in the place of the active duties of justice and benevolence. 
Saints were deified; the power of the clergy was magnified; religious 
processions were appointed ; pilgrimages were performed to the 
tombs of the mai'tyrs ; monasteries and nunneries without number 
were erected ; prayers were offered up to the departed saints ; the doc- 
trine of the Trinit}^ was instituted ; the Virgin Mary was recognized 
as a species of inferior deity ; the sign of the cross was regarded as 
capable of securing victory in all kinds of trials and calamities, and 
as the surest protection against the influence of malignant spirits ; 
the bishops aspired after wealth, magnificence, and splendor, which 
they have not yet ceased to do ; errors in religion were punished 
with civil penalties and bodily tortures ; and the most violent dis- 
ontes and contentions disturbed every section of the Catholic 


Church ; while the mild and beneficent virtues of the religion of 
Christ were either discarded or thrown into the shade. Of these 
and similar dispositions and pi-actices we might give details which 
would fill many volumes, and which would convince every 
impartial mind that the true lustre of Christianity was sadly ob- 
scured, and its heavenly spirit almost extinguished, amidst the mass 
of sujDerstitious observances, of vain speculations, and of angry feuds 
and contentions, which prevailed. Millot, in speaking of the state 
of the Church in the days of Constantine and the succeeding em- 
perors, justly remarks : " The disciples of Christ were inspired with 
mutual feuds, still more implacable and destructive than the factions 
that were formed for or against different emperors. The spirit 
of contention condemned by St. Paul became almost universal. New 
sects sprung up incessantly and combatted each other. Each boasted 
its apostles, gave its sophisms for divine oracles, pretended to be the 
depositary of the faith, and used every effort to draw the multitude 
to its standard. The Church was filled with discord; bishops 
anathemized bishops; violence was called into the aid of argument, 
and the folly of princes fanned the flame which spread with such 
destructive rage. They played the theologists, attempted to com- 
mand opinions, and punished those whom they could not convince. 
The laws against idolators were soon extended to heretics ; but what 
one emperor prescribed as heretical was to another sound doctrine. 
"What was the consequence ? The clergy, whose influence was al- 
ready great at court, and still greater among the people, began to 
withdraw from the sovereign authority that respect which religion 
mspires. The popular ferments being heightened by the animosities 
of the clergy, prince, country, law or duty were no longer regarded. 
Men were Arians, Donatists, Priscillianists, Nestorians, Eutychians, 
Monothelites, etc., but no longer citizens, or, rather, every man be- 
came the mortal enemy of those citizens whose opinions he con 
demned. This unheard-of madness for irreconcilable quarrels oi. 
subjects which ought to have been referred to the judgment of the 
church, never abated amid the most dreadful disasters. Every sect 
formed a different party in the State, and their mutual animosities 
conspired to sap its foundations."* 

At the pei'iod to which these observations refer, two erroneous 
maxims appear to have generally prevailed, which tended to under- 
mine the gospel system of morality, and which were productive of 
almost all the contentions, tumults, and massacres, which distinguish 
that era of the Christian Church. These were, first, that i-eligion coi> 

» MiUot's Modem Hist., Vol. 1. 


sisted in the belief of certain abstract and incomprehensible dogmas, 
and in the performance of a multitude of external rites and cere- 
monies ; and, second, that all heresies or differences of opinion on 
religious points ought to be extirpated by the arm of the civil power. 
Than such maxims nothing can be more repugnant to reason or 
subversive of genuine morality, or more inconsistent with the genius 
and spirit of the true religion of Christ. And yet, to this time, tliey 
are acted upon by four-fifths of the Christian world, notwithstanding 
the numerous examples which history fui'nishes of their futility and 
erroneous tendency. We shall state only two or three instances 
referring to this period. The Emperor Theodosius came to the throne 
of the Roman empire in the year 379, A.D. Being originally a pagan 
he was baptized into the Christian church in the second year of his 
reign, during a severe illness, which threatened his life, and on his 
recovery he professed great zeal for that church. Soon after his bap- 
tism, he dictated the following edict : " It is our pleasure that all the 
nations whicli are governed by our clemency and moderation should 
steadily adhere to the religion which was taught by St. Peter to the 
Romans, which faithful tradition has preserved, and which is now 
professed by the Pontiff Damasus, and by Peter, bishop of Alexan- 
dria, a man of apostolic holiness. According to the teaching of the 
apostles, and the doctrines of the Gospel let us believe the sole deity 
of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, under an equal majesty 
and a pious Trinity. We authorize the followers of this doctrine to 
assume the name of Catholic Christians ; and as we judge that all 
others are extravagant madmen, we brand them witli the infamous 
name of heretics, and declare that their conventicles sliall not longer 
usurp the respectable name of churches. — Beside the condemnations 
of divine justice they must expect to suffer the extreme penalties 
which our autliority, guided by heavenly wisdom, shall think proper 
to inflict upon them." * 

Theodosius declared apostates and Manicheans incapable of mak- 
ing a will or receiving any legacy ; and, having pronounced them 
worthy of death, the people thought tliey had a right to kill them as 
proscribed persons. He enacted a law condemning to the flames 
cousins-german, who married without a special license from tlie em- 
peror. He ajjpointed inquisitions for the discovering of heretics. 
He drove the Manicheans from Rome as infamous persons, and on 
their death ordered their goods to be distributed among the people. 
In the space of ten years, he promulgated at least fifteen severe edicts nonconformists and heretics, more especially those who re- 

* Gibbon's Rome. 


jected the doctrine of the Trinity which, under his reign, was estab- 
lished by law ; and to deprive them of every hope of escape he sternly 
enacted that if any laws or rescripts should be alleged in their favor, 
the judges should consider them as the illegal productions either of 
fraud or forgery. Leo, another emperor, '• commanded every person 
to be baptized under pain of banishment, and made it a capital 
offence for any one to relapse into idolatry after the performance of 
that ceremony ;" as if men could be made Christians by a forced 
baptism or by a law of the state. Such edicts clearly showed that 
whatever zeal those princes or the clergy might manifest in favor of 
the Christian religion, they were totally devoid of the true spirit, 
and ignorant of the means by which its benevolent objects were to 
be accomplished. 

To illustrate the manner in which such edicts were carried into 
effect, the following instance may be stated : Hypatia, the daughter 
of Theon, the celebrated geometrician of Alexandria, exceeded her 
father in learning, and gave public lectures in philosophy with the 
greatest success ; nor was she less admirable for the purity of her vir- 
tues, joined to an uncommon beauty, and every accomplishment that 
could adorn human nature. But that excellent woman, because she 
would not accept of the established religion, and was supposed to be 
active against St. Cyril, the bishop, became an object of detestation 
to the Christian multitude. A set of monks and desperadoes, headed 
by a priest, seized her in the open street, hurried her into a church, 
where they stripped her naked, lacerated her body with whips, cut 
her in pieces, and publicly burned her mangled limbs in the market 
place.* St. Cyril, who was suspected of having fomented this tra- 
gedy, had previously attacked the synagogues, and driven out the 
Jews; their goods were pillaged, and several persons perished in the 
tumult. Such conduct plainly demonstrates the tendency of the 
human mind to abuse power, for the purpose of revenge and perse- 
cution ; and illustrates, also,what the ideas of these persecutors were 
of their pretended religion. 

About this time, and afterwards also, vain speculations about ab- 
struse and incomprehensible subjects occupied the mind and the 
time of theologists, engendered religious quarrels and disputes, and 
burst asunder the bonds of affection and concord. A play upon 
words and vain subtleties were substituted for clear conceptions and 
substantial knowledge ; which instead of directing the faculties of 
the human mind to the proper objects, tended to obscure the light 
of reason, and to usher in the long night of ignorance, characterized 

* MiUott's Modern History. 


as the Dark Ages. It was a prevailing madness with these early 
theologists, who were obstinately tenacious of their opinions, and it 
has been too much the case with certain modern theologists to dis- 
pute about doctrines which they claimed to be incomprehensible, to 
render them more obscure by their attempts to explain them, never 
giving the proper explanation, and perpetually to revive the most 
angry contentions. 

The Arians rejected the divinity of Christ in order to maintain 
the unity of God ; the Nestorians denied that Mary is the mother or 
God, and gave two persons to Jesus Christ to support the opinion 
of His having two natures. The Eutychians, in order to maintain 
the unity of the person, confounded the two natures in one. This 
sect became divided into ten or twelve branches, many of them, as 
the Gnostics of the Primitive Church, maintaining that Christ was 
merely a phantom or appearance of flesh, but not real flesh. The 
Monothelites maintained that Christ had only one will, as they could 
not conceive two free wills to exist in the same person. Another 
sect maintained that Christ's body was incorruptible, and that from 
the moment of His conception He was incapable of change and of suf- 
fering. This chimera the Emperor Justinian attempted to establish by 
an edict. He banished the patriarch Eutychius, and several other 
prelates who opposed his sentiments, and was preparing to tyrannize 
over the conscience of men with still more violence, when, aftei' a 
long reign, death interposed, and removed him from tliis earthly 

In such vain and preposterous disputes as these the minds of pro- 
fessed Christians were occupied, notwithstanding the perils with 
which they were then encompassed by the invasion of the barbarians. 
Councils were held to determine the orthodox side of a question ; 
anathemas were hurled against those who refused to acquiesce in 
their decisions ; princes interposed their authority, and the civil 
power stood read}^ to compel men to profess what they did not be- 
lieve and could not understand, while the essential truths of religion 
were overlooked, and its morality disregarded. "Religion," says 
Millot, " inspires men with a contempt of earthly vanities, a detesta- 
tion of vice, and indulgence for the frailties of our neighbors, invul- 
nerable patience in misfortune and compassion for the unhappy ; it 
inspires us with charity and heroic courage, and tends to sanctify 
every action in commoji and social life. How sublime and comfort- 
ing the idea it gives of the Di\inity ; what confidence in His justice 
and infinite mercy ; what encouragement for the exercise of every 
virtue; wherefore, then, such errors and excesses on religious pre- 
tences ? It is. because heresy, starting up under a thousand different 


forms, incessantly startles the faith by subtleties and sophistry, by 
which almost the whole energy of men's minds is absorbed in the 
contest. Disputes engender hatred ; from hatred springs every ex- 
cess; and virtue, exhausted with words and cabals, loses her whole 
power." How well it would be for the cause of genuine Christian- 
ity, and how promotive of the happiness of mankind, if the present 
and future generations would profit by the experience of the past ! 

As we advance in the history of the Christian Church through 
the Middle Ages the prospect becomes still more dark and gloomy : 
the human mind at that period appears to have lost its wonted ener- 
gy and power of determination ; the light of reason seemed well-nigh 
extinguished ; sophisms and absurdities of all kinds were swallowed 
and left undigested, and superstition displayed itself in a thousand 
different forms ; morality Avas smothered up under a heap of cere- 
monies, and arbitrary observances obtained the name of devotion ; 
relics, offerings, pilgrimages, and pious legacies were thought capable 
of opening the gate of heaven to the most wicked of men ; the Vir- 
gin Mary and the souls of departed saints were invoked ; splendid 
temples and shrines were erected to their honor, and their assistance 
was entreated with many fervent prayers ; an irresistible efficacy 
was attributed to the bones of martyrs, and to the figure of the 
cross, in defeating the temptations of Satan, in warding off all sorts 
of calamities, and in healing the diseases of the body and of the 
mind; works of piety and benevolence, as in Romish countries at the 
present day, were viewed as consisting chiefly in building and em- 
bellit:hing churches and chapels, in endowing monasteries, in hunt- 
ing after the relics of martyrs, in procuring the intercession of saints 
by rich oblations, in worshipping images, in pilgrimages to holy places, 
in voluntary acts of mortification, in solitar}^ masses, and in a variety 
of similar services which could easily be reconciled with the commis- 
sion of the most abominable crimes ; so that the worship of the in- 
visible Diety, the Creator of all, was exchanged for the worship of 
hair, bones, fragments of fingers and toes, tattered rags, images of 
saints, and bits of rotten wood, supposed to be the relics of the cross ; 
the canonizing of saints became the fruitful source of frauds and 
abuses throughout the Christian world ; lying wonders were invent- 
ed, and fabulous histories and legends composed to celebrate exploits 
that were never performed, and to glorify persons that never had a 
being; and absolution from the greatest crime could be easily ob- 
tained either by money or by penance. During the eighth and ninth 
centuries, there were perpetual contests as to images, whether or not 
they should be worshipped ; one emperor permitted, another prohibit- 
ed, their worship. An emperor, in the beginning of his reign, as Leo 


the Isaurian, bows down in abject homage to them, and thereby se- 
cures the favor of the Pope and his prelates ; in the latter part of 
his reign he breaks them to pieces, and thereby obtains their dis- 
pleasure and active opposition. Hence arose the term Iconoclasts, 
or image-breakers, in contradistinction to image-worshippers. The 
sect of the Iconoclasts was supported by six Emperors, and the whole 
Catholic church was involved in a noisy conflict between these two 
opposing parties for a period of one hundred and twenty years. 

The absurd principle that religion consists of acts of austerity 
produced the most extravagant behavior in certain devotees and re- 
puted saints. They lived among the wild beasts; they ran naked 
through the lonely desert, with a furious aspect, and with all the 
perturbations of madness and frenzy; they prolonged their wretched 
lives by grass and wild herbs ; avoided the sight and conversation of 
men, and remained almost motionless for several years exposed to 
the rigor and inclemency of the seasons ; and all this was considered 
as an acceptable method of worshipping the Diety, and of obtaining 
His favor. 

But of all the instances of superstitious frenzy vrhich disgraced 
those times none was held in higher veneration than that of a certain 
order of men called Pillar Saints. These were persons of a most 
singular and extravagant turn of mind, who stood motionless on the 
top ot pillars, expressly raised for this exercise of their patience, and 
remained there for several years the objects of the admiration and 
applause of a stupid and wondering populace. This strange super- 
stitious practice began in the sixth century, and continued in the 
east for more than six hundred years. The name and genius of 
Simeon Stylj'tes have been immortalized by the invention of this 
aerial penance. At the age of thirteen years, the young Syrian de- 
serted the profession of a shepherd, and threw himself into a monas- 
tery. After a long and painful novitiate, in which he was repeatedly 
saved from pious suicide, Simeon established his residence on a 
mountain, aboiit thirty or forty miles to the east of Antioch. With- 
in the space of a Mandra, or circle of stones, to which he had at- 
tached himself by a ponderous chain, he ascended a column, which 
was successively raised from the height of nine to that of sixt}^ feet 
from the ground. In this last and lofty station the Syrian monk re- 
sisted the heat of thirty summers, and the cold of as many winters. 
Habit and exercise instructed him to maintain his dangerous situa- 
tion without fear or giddiness, and successfully to assume the differ- 
ent postures of devotion. He sometimes prayed in an erect attitude 
with his arms outstretched in the figure of a cross, but his most 
familiar practice was that of bending his meagre skeleton from the 


forehead to the feet; and a curious spectator, after numbering 1244 
repetitions of this act, at length desisted from the endless account. 
The progress of an ulcer in his leg might shorten, but it could not 
disturb this celestial life ; and the patient monk expired without 
descending from his column. This voluntary martyrdom must have 
gradually destroyed the sensibility both of the mind and body ; nor 
can it be presumed that fanatics who unnecessarily torment them- 
selves are susceptible of any lively sympathy for the rest of mankind. 
A cruel, unfeeling temper has distinguished the monks of every age 
'and country; their stern indifference is inflamed by religious hatred, 
and their merciless zeal has strenuously administered the office of the 

To the same irrational principles are to be attributed the revolt- 
ing practices of the Flagellants, a sect of fanatics who chastised 
themselves with whips in public places. Numbers of persons of this 
description of all ages and sexes made processions, walking two by 
two, with their shoulders bare which they whipped until the blood 
ran down in streamlets, in order to obtain the mercy of God and ap- 
pease His anger against their wickedness. They held, among other 
things, that flagellation was of equal virtue with baptism and the 
other sacraments ; that the pardon of all sins would be obtained by 
it, without the merits of Jesus Christ ; that the old law of Christ 
was soon to be abolished, and that a new law, enjoining a baptism of 
blood to be administered by whipping, would be substituted in its 
place. The enormous power that came to be vested in the ecclesiasti- 
cal rulers was another source of immorality, and of the greatest ex- 
cesses. The Pope and the clergy reigned over the greatest part of 
the Catholic church without control, and made themselves masters 
of almost all the wealth in every country in Europe. Many of them 
perpetrated crimes of the deepest dye, and the laity, thinking them- 
selves able to purchase the pardon of their sins for money, followed 
without scruple the example of their pastors. Every Christian 
country swarmed with lazy monks, and the most violent contentions, 
animosities and hatred reigned among their different orders, as well 
as between all ranks and orders of the clergy. " Instead of conse- 
crating ecclesiastical censures solely to spiritual purposes, they con- 
verted them into a weapon for defending their privileges, and sup- 
porting their pretensions. The priesthood, which was principally 
designed to bless, was most frequently employed in cursing. Ex- 
communication was made the instrument of damning instead of sav- 
ing souls, and was inflicted according to the dictates of policy or re- 
venge." The great and powerful, even kings and emperors, were 
excommunicated when it was designed to rob or to enslave them ; 


and this invisible engine, which they wielded with an effective and 
a sovereign hand, was used to stir up dissensions among the nearest 
relations, and to kindle the most bloody wars. The generality of 
priests and monks kept wives and concubines without shame or 
scruple, and even the papal throne was at some times the seat of de- 
bauchery and vice. The possessions of the church were either sold 
to the highest bidder or turned into a patronage for the bastards of 
the incumbents. Marriage, wills, contracts, the interests of families 
and courts, the state of the living and the dead were all converted 
into instruments for promoting their credit and increasing their 
wealth. It was, therefore, a necessary consequence of such a state 
of things that vices of every description abounded, that bad morals 
prevailed, and the benevolence of the divine law was trampled under 

The ignorance and superstition which the corruptions of Chris- 
tianity introduced were dexterously improved by the ecclesiastical 
rulers to enrich themselves, and drain the purses of the deluded 
masses. Each rank and order of the clergy had its peculiar method 
of fleecing the peoj^le and increasing its revenues. " The bishops," 
says Mosheim, "• when they wanted money for their private pleasures, 
granted to their flock the power of purchasing the remission of the 
penalties imposed upon transgressors by a sum of money, which was 
to be applied to certain religious purposes, or, in other -words, they 
published indulgences, which became an inexhaustible source of 
opulence to the episcopal orders, and enabled them to form and ex- 
ecute the most difficult schemes for the enlargement of their au- 
thority, and to erect a multitude of sacred edifices, which augmented 
the external pomp and splendor of the Church. The abbots and 
monks, equally covetous and ambitious, had recourse to other meth- 
ods for enriching their convents. They carried about the country 
carcasses and relics of the saints in solemn p)i'Ocession, and permitted 
the multitudes to behold, touch, and embrace those sacred and lucra- 
tive remains, at certain fixed prices. By this raree-show, the mon- 
astic orders often gained as much as the bishops did by their indul- 
gences."* The Pope at length assumed the chief power over this 
profitable traffic, and " when the wants of the church, or the demon 
of avarice prompted them to look out for new subsidies, published 
not only a universal but a plenary remission of all the temporal pains 
and penalties which the Church had annexed to certain transgres- 
sions. They even audaciously usurped the authority which belongs 
to God alone, and impiously pretended to abolish even the punish- 

* Mosheim's Hist., 12th Cent 


merts which are reserved in a future state for the workers of in- 
iquity, a step which the bishops, with all their avarice and presump- 
tion, had never once ventured to take."* 

By the sale of such indulgences the money was obtained by 
means of which the magnificent structure of St. Peter's Church at 
Rome was built. Pope Leo X. published a system of indulgences, 
suited to all ranks and characters of men, and offered a plenary re- 
mission to all who would contribute their money to the furtherance 
of this and other projects he had in view ; so that the foundations of 
this edifice, which has been so much admired, were laid, and its super- 
structure reared by the most diabolical and impious means, by the 
exercise of perfidy and insatiable avarice, and by the usurpation of 
the prerogatives of the Deity. This daring impiety was carried to 
such a pitch that indulgences were farmed out to the highest bidders, 
who, to make the most out of their bargain, procured the ablest de- 
claimers, and the most eloquent preachers, to extol the efficacy, and 
enhance the value of such wares. A graduated scale of prices was 
arranged for the remission of sins of every description, not even ex- 
cepting the most horrid crimes, such as the murder of a father, mo- 
ther, or Avife ; so that for ninety livres, or a few ducats, or a less 
sum, a pardon might be procured from the " Apostolic Chancery,' 
for crimes which all civilized nations determined to be worthy of 
death. All the provinces of Europe were in a manner drained to 
enrich those ghostly tyrants, Avho were perpetually gaping after new 
accessions of wealth, in order to augment the numbers of their 
friends, and the stability of their dominions ; and every stratagem 
was used to rob the subject without shocking the sovereign, and to 
levy taxes under the specious mask of religion. 

Such was the shameless rapacity which then prevailed, that even 
in that age of ignorance and servility, the eyes of the people began 
to open, and to perceive the vileness, impiety, and false pretensions 
of the ecclesiastical orders. Not alone private persons, but princes 
and sovereign states began to exclaim loudly against the despotic 
dominion of the Popes, the fraud, avarice, and injustice that prevail- 
ed in their councils, the arrogance and extortion of the legates, and 
the unbridled rapacity and licentiousness of the clergy and monks, 
until at length the Protestant reformers, with the double object, 
doubtless, of strengthening their own cause and weakening that of 
their opponents, brought to light such a scene of extortion and pro- 
fligacy as had never before been exhibited with such effrontery iu 
any country under heaven. 

• Mosheim's Hist., 12th Cent 


The public worship of the Deity was at that time little more 
than a pompous round of ceremonies, adapted rather to dazzle the 
eye of sense than to enlighten the understanding, or affect the heart. 
The sermons of the clergy were little else than fictitious reports of 
miracles, and prodigies, insipid fables, wretched quibbles and sense- 
less jargon, which deceived the multitude instead of instructing them. 
The authority of the holy Mother Church, the obligation of obedience 
to her decisions, the merits and virtues of the saints, the dignity and 
glory of the Blessed Virgin, the efficacy of relics, the adorning of 
churches, the endowing of monasteries, the utility of indulgences, and 
the burnings of purgatorj^, were the principal subjects on which the 
clergy descanted, and which employed the pens of eminent doctors 
of divinitj"-, because they availed to fill the coffers of the Mother 
Church, to augment her magnificence, and to advance her temporal 
interests as represented in the Papacy. 

A certain class of persons connected with the Romish Chiirch, 
designated by the title of the " Pope's Nephews," have always dis- 
tinguished themselves by their arrogance and rapacity. An Italian 
writer of the 17th century, who appears to have been a moderate 
Catholic, when sketching the characters of the existing cardinals, and 
the Pope's Nephews, relates, among other curious and melancholy 
pieces of history, the following circumstances : "A friend of mine had 
the curiosity to calculate the money that had been given to the 
Nephews, and he began at the year 1500, and, after a great deal of 
pains he found issuing from the treasmy of the Church, about seventy 
millions of double ducats,* all delivered into the hands of their kin- 
dred. And this is to be understood of visible moneys; for of private 
and invisible sums there may perhaps be twenty millions more. And 
those Romans that are within the town, and have more time to cast 
up what has been extorted from them, if they would take the pains 
to examine it more strictly, I am satisfied, would find it much more." 
The author, like a zealous Catholic, makes the following reflection on 
this fact : " If these seventy millions of double ducats had been spent 
in persecuting heretics, or in making war upon infidels, where 
would any infidel be ? These seventy millions would have been 
enough to have overrun all Asia, and (which is of importance too), 
the princes would have contributed as much more had they seen the 
Popes more tenacious against their kindred, and more free to the 
soldiers who were fighting for Christ." 

The same author states that "Innocent X., to satisfy the fancy of 
a kinswoman, spent a hundred thousand crowns upon a fountain, yet 

• A double ducat is about $2.50 in silver, or about $6.00 in gold. 


with great diJBficulty could scarce find forty thousand to supply the 
emperor in his war with the Protestants ; " and "• this good Pope 
would nevertheless leave to his cousin, to the house of Pamphylia, 
and other houses allied to that, about eight millions of crowns, with 
•which sum they flourish in Rome to this very day." Again: "The 
Barbarini were in Rome at the same time, and enjoyed a rent of four 
hundred thousand crowns, and yet in a war of so much importance 
to the Catholic religion they could not iind forty thousand. But, 
Oh, God ! (I speak it with tears in my eyes) aginst the most Catho- 
lic princes of Italy whole millions were nothing ; they could turn the 
cross into the sword to revenge their particular injuries ; but, in the 
relief of the emperor who was vindicating the Christian faith, they 
could not find as much as a few hundreds." " The infidels laugh, 
and the heretics rejoice to see the wealth of the Church so irrelig- 
iously devoured, while the poor Christian weeps at their merriment." 
"The heat and passion which the Popes show hourly for their 
Nephews to gain principalities for them, to bestow pension upon pen- 
sion upon them, to build palace upon palace for them, and to fill 
their coffers with treasures to the brim is that which cools the reso- 
lution of the zealousest prince, and exasperates the infidels in their 
wicked designs. A great shame it is indeed that the heretics should 
have more ground to accuse the Catholics than the Catholic has to 
impeach the heretic." And he adds the following apostrophe in 
reference to this subject: " Oh God! to what purpose will they keep 
so many jewels at Loretta, so much consecrated plate at Rome, so 
many abbeys for their Nephews, so much wealth for the Popes, if, 
abandoning their Commonwealth, and refusing it that humane supply 
that is necessary for the celestial glory, it be constrained to submit 
to the Ottoman power, which is threatening it now with the greatest 
effect? If the wealth of the Popes be devoured, the benefices of the 
cardinals given to the priests of Mahomet, the abbeys of the Nephews 
usurped by the Turks, the sacred vessels of Rome profaned by these 
infidels, and the seraglio adorned with the gems of the Loretta, God 
grant my eyes may never see that spectacle ! " * 

Thus, it appears, from the testimony of Catholic writers, that the 
immense sums which were wrested from the people by every species 
of fraud and extortion, instead of being applied to the maintenance 
and defence of the Church, as was pretended (which application, in 
the state in which the Church was then, would not have been an 
over-good one either), were wasted in luxury and extravagance by 
the Popes and their minions in selfish gratifications, in riot and 

* See a volume in Italian entitled "H Cardinalismo di Sancta Chiesa." Or the History of 
the Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church. 


debaucheiy, in accumulating wealth on the heads of their relatives 
and favorites, most of Avhom were infidels and debauchees, in gratify- 
ing the pride and avarice of courtesans, and in the most romantic' 
and ambitious projects. The single structure of St. Peter's, at Rome, 
is said to have cost the enormous sum of sixty millions of dollars, and 
in our age and* country would have cost, at least, three times that 
amount. What immense sums, then, must have been expended on 
similar objects intended merely for worldly ostentation by the Catholic 
hierarchy throughout the whole of Christendom, besides the millions 
that were expended in their pursuits of tyranny, sensuality and de- 
bauchery. The mind, when it reflects upon it, is almost overwhelmed 
at the thought that such sacrilegious enormities should have been so 
long continued with impunity, and that such immense treasures 
should have been consecrated for so many ages to the support of the 
kingdom of darkness, while the true Christian church was allowed to 
pine away in poverty, and compelled to liide its head in dens and 
caves of the earth. 

The Pope's revenues as a temporal prince, at the beginning of 
this century, have been calculated to amount to at least a million of 
pounds sterling, or five millions of dollars a year, arising chiefly from 
the monopoly of corn, the duties on wine and other products. Over 
and above these, vast sums were continually flowing into the pajoal 
treasury from all the Roman Catholic countries for dispensations, in- 
dulgencies, canonizations, annats, the pallia, the investitures of bishops 
archbishops, and other resources. It is computed that the monks and 
regular clergy who were absolutely at the Pope's devotion did not 
amount to less than two millions of persons, dispersed through all 
the Roman Catholic countries, to assert his supremacy over princes, 
and to promote the interest of the Church. The revenues of these 
monks and priests did not fall short of two hundred millions of 
pounds sterling, or a thousand millions of dollars, besides the casual 
profits arising from offerings and the people's bounty to the Church, 
who are taught that their salvation depends upon this kind of charity. 
In Spain alone the number of ecclesiastics, including the parochial 
clergy, monks, nuns, syndics, inquisitors, etc., amounted to 188,625. 
The number of archbishops was eight, and of bishops forty-six. The 
archbishop of Toledo alone had a revenue, which, according to the 
most moderate computation, amounted to four hundi-ed and fifty 
thousand dollars a year. In Portugal, in 1732, there were reckoned 
above 300,000 ecclesiastics out of a population of less than two mil- 
lions. The patriarch of Lisbon had an annual revenue of one hun- 
dred and fifty thousand dollars, and the revenue of the patriarchal 
church above 1570,000. It is stated by Mr. Locke in the diary of 


his travels that the expense of the ecclesiastical establishment in 
France, at the time that he resided in that country, amounted to about 
twenty-four millions of pounds sterling, or one hundred and twenty 
millions of dollars. This may give some idea of what must have been 
the immense treasures of wealth collected by the Roman Popes and 
bishops, prior to the Reformation, when the whole of the European 
nations were in subjection to them, and when the newly discovered 
countries in the Western World were plundered to augment their 
revenues and to satiate their rapacity ! 

The theological speculations in which these ecclesiastics indulged 
corresponded to their degrading practices, and tended to withdraw 
the mind from the substantial realities both of science and virtue ; 
sophisms and falsehoods were held forth as demonstrations. They 
attempted to argue after they had lost the rules of common sense. 
The cultivation of letters, as well as of the arts, was neglected; elo- 
quence consisted in futile declamations ; and true philosophy was lost 
in the abyss of scholastic and sophistical theology. They endeavored 
to render theology a subject of metaphysical speculation, and of end- 
less controversy. A false logic was introduced which subtilized 
upon words, but gave no idea of things, which employed itself in nice 
and refined distinctions concerning objects and operations, which lay 
beyond their limited understandings, and Avhich could not be under- 
stood. The following are only a few instances out of many that 
might be brought forward of the questions and controversies which 
occupied the attention of bishops and scholarly doctors, and gave rise 
to furious contentions : Whether the conception of the Blessed Virgin 
was immaculate? Whether Mary should be denominated the mother 
of God or the mother of Christ? Whether the bread and wine used 
in the Eucharist were digested? In what manner the will of Christ 
operated ; and whether He had one will or two ? Whether the Holy 
Spirit proceeded from the Father and the Son or only from the 
Father ? Whether leavened or unleavened bread ought to be used 
in the Eucharist? Whether souls in their intermediate state see 
God or only the human nature of Christ ? It was disputed between 
the Dominicans and Franciscans whether Christ had any property. 
The Pope pronounced the negative proposition to be a pestil- 
ential and blasphemous doctrine, subversive to the Catholic 
faith. Many councils were held at Constantinople to deter- 
mine what sort of light it was which the disciples saw at Mount 
Tabor. It was solemnly pronounced to be the eternal light with 
which God is encircled, and which may be termed his energy or oper- 
ation, but is distinct from his nature or essence. The disputes 
respecting the presence of Christ in the Eucharist led to this absurd 


conclusion, which came to be universally admitted : " that the sub- 
stance of the bread and wine used in that ordinance is changed into 
the real body and blood of Christ," and consequently when a man 
eats what has the appearance of a wafer, or a piece of bread he really 
and truly eats the body and blood and soul of Christ ; and when he 
afterwards drinks what has the appearance of wine, he drinks the 
very same body and blood, and soul, which, perhaps not a minute 
before he had wholly and entirely eaten ! 

At the period to which we now allude the authenticity of a sus- 
pected relic was proved by bulls. Councils assembled and decided 
upon the authority of forged acts with regard to the antiquity of a 
Saint, or the place where his body was deposited : and a bold mipostor 
needed but to open his mouth to persuade the multitude to believe 
whatever he pleased. To feed upon animals strangled or unclean, 
to eat flesh on Tuesday, eggs and cheese on Friday, to fast on Satur- 
day, or to use unleavened bread in the service of the mass, were by 
some considered as indispensable duties, and by others as vile abomi- 
nations. In short the history of the period is a reproach to the 
liuman understanding, an insult offered to reason, and a libel on 
the benevolent spirit which breathes through the true religion of 

Nothing can be more directly opposed to the spirit which this 
religion inculcates, than the temper and conduct of man}^, if not all, 
of those who arrogated to themselves the character of being " God's 
vicegerents on earth," and who assumed to themselves the sole direc- 
tion and control of the Christian church. In persons who laid 
claim to functions so sacred and divine it might have been expected 
that, at least, the appearance of piety, humility and benevolence 
would have been exhibited before the Christian world. But the his- 
tory of the Popes and their satellites displays almost everything which 
is directly opposed to such heavenly virtues. Their avarice, extor- 
tion, and licentiousness became intolerable and excessive, even to a 
proverb. To extend their power over the kingdoms of the earth, to 
.increase their wealth and revenues, to live in opulence and splendor, 
to humble earthly rulers, to alienate the affections of their subjects, 
and to riot in the lap of luxury, sensuality, and debauchery, seemed 
to be the great objects of their ambition. Instead of acting as the 
heralds of mercy, and the ministers of peace, they thundered anathe- 
mas against all who dared to call in question their authority; kindled 
the flames of discord and civil wars, armed subjects against their 
rulers, led forth hostile armies to battle, and filled Europe with con- 
fusion, devastation and carnage. Instead of applying the mild pre- 
cepts of Christianity and interposing their authority for reconciling 


enemies, and subduing the jealousies of rival monarchs, they on many 
occasions delighted to widen the breach of friendship and to fan the 
flame of animosity and discord. Dr. Robertson, when adverting to 
the personal jealousies of Francis I. and Charles V., remarks : "If it 
had been in the power of the Pope to engage them in hostilities, 
Avithoat rendering Lombardy the theatre of war, nothing would have 
been more agreeable to him than to see them waste each other's 
strength in endless quarrels.* 

Some of our readers may have ere this become impatient and dis- 
gusted with the characters which have been drawn of ghostly 
leaders of the people. They may, however, remember that these are 
but a few of the facts of a similar kind which history presents before 
us, and that they are not exaggerated. The Son of Man comes into 
the world not to destroj^ men's lives but to save them; but in such 
instances we behold his pretended vicars preparing and arranging the 
elements of discord, laying a train for the destruction of thousands, 
and tens of thousands, and taking a diabolical delight in contem- 
plating the feuds, the massacres, and the miseries, which their infernal 
policy had created. The decrees from the j^apal throne, instead of 
breathing the mildness and benevolence of the gospel, became thun- 
dering curses and sanguinary laws, and a set of fanatic enthusiasts or 
a lawless banditti were frequently appointed to carry them into effect. 
Not resting satisfied with the insurrections and the desolations they 
had caused among the European nations, they planned an expedition 
for the purpose of subduing Western Asia, and consequently of mas- 
sacring its inhabitants. Urban II., about A.D. 1095, travelled from 
province to province levying troops, even without the consent of 
their princes, preaching the doctrine of " destruction to the infidels," 
and commanding the people in the name of God to join in the holy war. 
Peter the Hermit, represented by historians as a man of hideous figure 
and aspect, covered with rags, walking barefooted and speaking as a 
prophet, inspired the people everywhere Avith an enthusiasm similar 
to his own. St. Bernard ran from town to town haranguing the pop- 
ulace, performing pretended miracles, and inducing all ranks, from 
the emperor to the peasant, to enroll themselves under the banner of 
the cross. Thousands of wicked and abandoned debauchees were 
thus collected ; and bishops, priests, monks, women and children 
were all enrolled in the holy army. A plenary absolution of all their 
sins was promised, and if they died in the contest they were assured 
of a crown of martyrdom in the world to come. With hearts burn- 
ing with fury and revenge this army of banditti, without discipline, 

* Robertson's Charles V. Book IL 


or sufficiency of provisions, marched in wild confusion through the 
Eastern parts of Europe, and at every step of their progress com- 
mitted the most horrible outrages. So inveterate was their hatred 
of the Jews wherever they found them, that many of these unfortu- 
nate beings, both men and Avonien. murdered their own children in 
the midst of the despair to which they had been driven b}- those in- 
furiated madmen; and when they had arrived at Jerusalem, and had 
taken the city by assault, they made a universal slaughter of the in- 
fidels. Such was the way in which the successors of the apostles 
and the vicars of Christ displayed their geneial benevolence, and 
their love for the souls and bodies of men. 

The establishment of the Inquisition is another mode in which 
the tyranny and cruelty of the Cliurch of Rome have been displa^-ed. 
The office of inquisitors of the faith was first instituted under Theo- 
dosius, and was, doubtless, retained and exercised to a greater or less 
extent in all the ages subseqent to him. But the Court of the Inqui- 
sition, which became so terribly notorious, was founded in the Twelfth 
Cenlury, by Father Dominic and his followers, Avho were sent by 
Pope Innocent III., in order to excite the Catholic princes to extir- 
pate heresy, and was, some time after, put into execution in Spain 
with awful effect. It is scarcely possible to conceive of any institution 
more diametrically opposed to the dictates of justice and humanity, 
and to the genius of the religion of the Gospel, than is this infernal 
tribunal. The proceedings against the unhapj)y victims of that court 
were conducted witli the greatest secrecy. The person granted them 
as counsel was not permitted to converse with them, except in the 
presence of the inquisitors ; and when they communicated the evi- 
dence to the accused persons tliey carefully concealed from them the 
name of the authors. The prisoners were confined for a long time 
until they themselves, by the application of the torture, became their 
own accusers ; for they were neither told their crime nor confronted 
with Avitnesses. When there was no shadow of proof against the 
accused person, he Avas discharged after suffering the most cruel 
tortures, a tedious and dreadful imprisonment, and the loss of the 
greatest part of his effects. When he was convicted and condemned, 
he Avas led in procession Avith other unforttinate A'ictims on the festival 
of the "Auto dafe " (Act of Faith), to the place of execution. He 
was there clothed with a garment painted with flames, and with his 
OAvn figure surrounded with those of dogs, serpents, and deA'ils, all 
open-mouthed, as if read}^ to devour him. Let the reader for a 
moment imagine himself in this situation, at the mercy of these 
fiendish men, simply because he could not conscientiousl}' confess 
his belief of their absurd doctrines ; he will thus the better realize 


the position of these victims. Such of the prisoners as declared that 
they died in communion witli the Church of Rome were first strangled, 
and then burned to ashes. Those who died in any other faith were 
burned alive. The priesls told them that they left them to the devil, 
who was standing at their elbow to receive their souls, and carry 
them with him into tlie flames of hell ; as if there could possibly be 
any more real devil than these priests themselves, or any more real 
flames than those to which they subjected their victims. Flaming 
fuzees fastened to long poles Avere then thrust against their faces, until 
their faces were burned to a coal, which was said to be accomplished 
with the loudest acclamations of joy among the thousands of specta- 
tors. At last, fire was set to the furze at the bottom of the stake 
over Avhich the criminals Avere chained so high, that the top of the 
flame seldom reached higher than the seat they sat on ; so that they 
Avere roasted rather than burned. There could not be a more 
lamentable spectacle; the sufferers continually crying out while 
they Avere able : " Pity for the love of God," etc. ; yet it is said to 
have been beheld by people of all sexes and ages, with transports of 
joy and satisfaction ; and even the monarch, surrounded Avith his 
courtiers, has sometimes graced the scene Avith his presence, imagin- 
ing in his wicked ignorance that he was performing an act highly 
acceptable to God.* And yet there are amongst us Protestants, 
calling themselves "High Churchmen" and Avhat not else, Avho are 
really Papists and Jesuits except in name. How long before the 
cause of truth and humanity is asserted ? How long befoj-e the 
preachers of deceit and falsehood are left to preach to the AA'alls or to 
the Avinds ? And AA'hat Avere the crimes for Avliich those dreadful 
inquisatorial punishments Avere inflicted? Pei'haps nothing more 
than reading a book Avhich had been condemmed as heretical by the 
holy office; assuming the title of freemason ; irritating a priest, or 
mendicant friar ; uttering the language of a free thinker; declaiming 
against the celibacy of the clergy; insinuating hints or suspicions 
respecting their amours or debaucheries; or throAving out a joke to 
the dishonor of the Virgin Mary, or, at most, holding the sentiments 
of a Mahometan, or a Jcaa^ or of the followers of Luther or Calvin. 

In the year 1725, the inquisitors discovered a family of Moors at 
Granada in Spain, peaceably employed in manufacturing silks, and 
possessing superior skill in the exercise of this profession. The 
ancient laAvs supposed to haA^e fallen into disuse were enforced in all 
their rigor, and the Avretched family Avere burned aliA^e.j 

On the entry of the French into Toledo during the Peninsular 

* Bourgoing's Modern State of Spain. Enc. Brit. Art. Inquisition. t Id 


war, Gen. Lasalle visited the place of the Inquisition. The great 
number of instruments of torture, especially those for stretching the 
limbs, and the drop-baths which cause a lingering death, excited 
horror even in the minds of soldiers, hardened in the field of battle. 
One of these instruments, singular in its kind for refined torture, and 
disgraceful to humanity and the name of religion, deserves particular 
attention. In a subterraneous vault adjoining the audience chamber 
stood in a recess in the wall a wooden statue made by the hands of 
monks, representing the Virgin Mar}'. A gilded glory beamed round 
her head, and she held a standard in her right hand. Xotwithstand- 
ing the ample folds of the silk garments that fell from her shoulders 
on botli sides, it appears that she wore a breastplate, and upon a close 
examination it was found that the whole surface of the body was 
covered with extremely sharp nails, and small daggers or blades 
of knives, with the points projecting outwards. The arms and 
hands had joints and their motions were directed by machinery, 
placed behind the partition. One of the servants of the Inquisition 
was ordered to make the machinery manoeuvre. As the statue 
extended its arms and gradually drew them back, as if she would 
affectionately embrace and press some one to her heart, the well-filled 
knajjsack of a Polish grenadier supplied for this time the place of 
the poor victim. The statue pressed it closer and closer: and when 
the director of the machinery made it open its arms and return to its 
first position, the knapsack was found pierced two or three inches 
deep, and remained hanging on the nails and daggers of the murder- 
ous instrument. 

This infamous tribunal of the Inquisition is said, between the 
years 1481 and 1759, to have caused 34.6.38 human beings to be 
burned alive; and between 1481 and 1808 to have sentenced 288,214 
to * the galleys or to perpetual imprisonment. In the Auto of Toledo 
in February 1501, sixty -seven women -were delivered over to the 
flames for Jewish practices. This tribunal was exceedingly severe 
in its action against the Jews, who suffered in great numbers, and, 
as the heretics, they were condemned for very slight offences. A 
priest, who did not put up for being a zealot, wrote thus of the Jews : 
" This accursed race were either unwilling to bring their children to 
be baptized, or if they did they washed away the stain on returning 
home. They dressed their stews and other dishes with oil instead of 
lard : abstained from pork : kejjt the Passover ; ate meat in Lent ; 
and sent oil to replenisb the lamps of their synagogues, with many 
other abominable ceremonies of their religion. They entertained no 

' Histoire Abregee de 1' Inquisition. 


respect for monastic life ; and frequently profaned the sanctity of 
religious houses by the violation or seduction of their inmates. They 
were an exceedingly politic and ambitious people, engrossing the 
most lucrative municipal offices, and prepared to gain their livelihood 
by traffic, in whicli they made exorbitant gains, rather than by man- 
ual labor or mechanical arts. They considered themselves in the 
hands of the Egyptians, whom it was a merit to deceive and pilfer. 
By their wicked contrivances they amassed great wealth, and thus 
were often able to ally themselves by marriage with noble Christian 
families." The Inquisition entertained accusations against high and 
low, both Jews and Christians, upon pi'etexts the most frivolous as 
well as grave; and condemned by punishments, varying from death 
by fire to simple penance, delinquents who could not say they believed 
what to their mind was a lie. It accepted evidence, which even in 
its own day would not have been admitted in a civil court of law ; 
and the pretexts upon which condemnation frequently proceeded 
were such as to make them marvellous even in a barbaric age. Tor- 
tures of the most exquisite and excruciating kind were practised on 
the accused to make them confess or to induce them to accuse others ; 
and the hateful sj^stem of esi^ionage and secret prison-houses were 
adopted by the Inquisition at every place where its courts were estab- 
lished. The evidence on which Jews were condemned would be 
simpljr ludicrous had it not been so terrible in its effects. An author 
of high standing remarks on this subject : " It was considered good 
evidence of the fact, ^'. e., Judaism, if the prisoner wore better clothes, 
or cleaner linen on the Jewish Sabbath than on the other da3's of the 
week ; if he had no fire in his house the preceding evening ; if he 
sat at table with Jews, or ate the flesh of certain animals, or drank a 
certain beverage lield much in estimation by them; if he Avashed a 
corpse in warm water, or when one was dying turned one's face to 
the wall : or, finally, if he gave Hebrew names to his children, a pro- 
vision most whimsically cruel, since, by a law of Henry IL, he was 
prevented, under severe penalties, from giving them Christian names." 
Such testimony being accepted, the number of the condemned must, of 
course, be legion : and in the interval between the beginning of Jan- 
uary and the beginning of November, 1451, the first year in which 
the Inquisition was put into terribly active force, in Spain, there had 
perished by fire in Seville no less than 298 persons. Notwithstanding 
the plague which in this year visii ed Seville, sweeping off 15,000 of 
the inhabitants, the Inquisition still continued its fiendish work ; so 
that by the end of the year, or up to the ensuing first of January, 
2000 persons, many of them the most learned and respectable of the 
day, had perished at the stake in the province of Andalusia. Twice 


that number having managed to escape, were burned in effigy, and 
17,000 were condemned to lesser punishments; of which the least 
must have been a terrible infliction. Some few years after this, Avhen 
one Deza came into power as Inquisitor-General in Spain, in the first 
8 years he presided at Seville, he caused 2,592 persons to be burned 
alive, to say nothing about 35,000 condemned to various other pun- 
ishments, short of death, but illustrating that the tender mercies of 
the wicked are cruel. When the Reformation began to be proclaimed, 
the work of the inquisitors increased, and several hundreds of persons 
were annually burned alive in various parts of Sj^ain, as the conse- 
quence. But not only in Spain did the Inquisition carry on its 
work so devilishly : in her colonies, especially in South America and 
Mexico, the cruel office was set up, and the Indians who escaped the 
cruelties of the colonists as civil governors, experienced the rigorous 
punishment of them as religionists, and destroj'ed themselves in large 
numbers rather than fall into their hands. It is wonderful that there 
was no actual rebellion against the Inquisition in Spain, Avhich con- 
tinued for three centuries doing its terriljle work of human destruc- 
tion. Yet there was no upraising against it. ^len hated but feared 
a tribunal, whose spies were all around, even in the bosom of the 
family, and which dealt its blows so secretly and suddenly, and with 
such awful effects. Xine hundred families were burned alive in the 
Duchj- of Lorraine, in France, for being witches, by one inquisitor. 
Under this accusation it is said that upward of 30,000 women have 
perished by the hands of the inquisitors.* 

Torquemada, that infernal arch-inquisitor of Sjiain, brought into 
the Inquisition, in the space of fourteen years, no less than 80,000 
persons, of whom 6,000 were condemned to the flames and burned 
alive with the greatest pomp and exultation; and of that vast 
number there was not, perhaps, a single person who was not more 
pure in religion and morals than their tie a dish persecutors, f 

Does the Deity, then, whom the Inquisition professes to serve, 
take such intense delight in tlie sufferings of human beings ? Has 
that Being, whose sun clieers the habitations of the wicked as well 
as the good, commanded such blood-thii>tv monsters to act as his 
ministers of vengeance, to torment and destroy his rational creatures? 
Does the doctrine of the gospel, which the}^ profess to believe, 
inculcate such practices? The very thought is absurd and blasphe- 
mous. If they would do as God requires of them, to do good and be 
good, live godly lives, no such institution as the Inquisition would 
ever exist, nor any other evil work. But it is men themselves, of 

Inquisition Unmasked. t Kaime's Sketches. 


their own free will who inflict these sufferings upon their fellows. 
Man is the author, the agent, as he is the object of the cruelty. But 
some, perhaps, will suppose that the devil hardens man's heai't, and 
prompts him to the perpetration of such infamous crimes as that of roast- 
ing his fellow-men over a slow fire. Well, that is a very true supposi- 
tion in a certain sense. But really who or what is the devil? Why, he 
is the man himself, who acts according to his own will, and practices 
such unspeakable wickedness. Yes, my readers, man himself is that 
evil being, by what ever name he may be called ; of which fact you 
have partial evidence in the foregoing statements. Can anything 
be conceived of, as more intensely evil than a human being who will 
seize and subject his fellow-human beings to such unspeakable tor- 
tures as those peculiar to the Inquisition, and then roast them to 
death over slow fires, as we see these men to have done? The fore- 
going statements are of facts which we may believe to have occurred, 
just as if we were eye-witnesses of every one of them. The blood of 
these tens of thousands who have been so cruelly and mercilessly 
sacrificed, cries unto us from the ground, to tamper no longer with 
hypocrisy and deceit, to lay nside that old theory of a devil, or any 
Being leading men to do evil, against their will and alleged as an 
excuse for their evil acts, and to make men stand on their own bases, 
and account them responsible for their conduct and acts. In a pre- 
ceding part of this book we have shown that not only the globe on 
which we live is a concentration of spirit, but that man also is a 
spirit, and, behold, here we perceive him in the spirit of evil developed, 
we may say, to almost an infinite extent. The existence of cruelty 
in men evidences that the perpetrators of it are ignorant of the true 
God. They have no true knowledge of him, for if they had they 
would not be cruel. God is manifested in a human being patiently 
enduring for the truth, and for righteousness' sake amid all opposition 
from adverse influences, visible and invisible. And the devil is 
manifested in him who inflicts suffering undeservedly or \vantonly 
upon the true and righteous man, or upon any human being. In short 
words God is manifested in the life and conversation of the truly 
good and righteous man ; and the devil is manifested in the life and 
conversation of the evil and actively wicked man. And thus we 
have found a proper application for the term God, which means he 
that is good ; and also of the term devil, which means he that is evil ; 
and hence it is seen that the term Deity includes both of these, and 
infinitel}^ more in its fullest extent, and as avc have used it in the 
beginning of this book. In the New Testament the apostle John, in 
his 1st Epistle, says that " God is love ; " and in the same Epistle, as 
well as in his 2d, that "love is the keeping of the commandments; " 


and ill another place of the New Testament it is said that " love is 
the fulfilling of the law ; " therefore it is quite evident that G od is 
manifested in the human being that keeps the commandments, or 
fulfills the law, which means the same thing ; that is, in the man 
who truly is and does good, lives a life of godliness. But in the 
case before us, as we have said, man is the sufferer, and man inflicts 
the suffering. Man is the author and agent as well as the object of 
the suffering. "VMieu a man commits an offence against the laws of 
his country, the law looks to the man himself for satisfaction for it. 
It looks not after a supposed or au imaginary being, of whatever 
name ; it looks after the real being, the direct perpetrator of the 
crime. The individual has committed an offence against mankind, 
and the latter looks to the individual himself for atonement for it. 
He Avould not be listened to, if, when brought before the Judge, he 
sought to justify himself by leaving the blame of his crime uj)on an 
imaginary being. Even so there is no necessity any longer of men 
blaming any other being than themselves for the evil they commit. 
The life of godliness implies a denial of pride and self; and here we 
repeat the true God is manifested in the character and conduct of 
the man who, in his daily walk and conversation, during his life 
long, evinces self-denial, long-suffering, humility, gentleness, meekness, 
truth and righteousness, who, in short, cultivates and displays all 
the true Christian graces, subjectively and objectively. Men can be 
good if. they will. They can also be evil if they will. Will men 
not henceforth universally choose to be good? How amiable the 
character of the man or woman who displays the spirit of charity 
and benevolence to all around, and to all mankind! And many, 
many such we have in the world in our time. But haw unlovely 
the character of one who displays the spirit of hatred and malignity 
to one's fellow-human beings to the extent we have seen it displayed 
in the case of the inquisitors, or to a far less extent I The Deity is 
everywhere present, and though unseen, his character, as indicated 
by the beneficent operations of nature around us, and by the testimony 
of good men of the past, condemns the hellish practices of the infa- 
mous agents of that superstition, whose character we have been 

The horrid practice of dragooning, which was used by the Romish 
church for converting supposed heretics, was another melancholy 
example of religious cruelties and fanaticism. In the reign of Louis 
XIV. of France, his troops, soldiers, and dragoons, entered into the 
houses of the Protestants, where they marred and defaced their fur- 
niture, broke their looking-glasses, let their wines run about their 
cellars, threw about and trampled under foot theii- stock of provis- 


ions, turned their dining-rooms into stables for their horses, 3.nd 
treated the proprietors with the severest contumely and cruelty. 
They bound to posts mothers that gave suck, and allowed their 
sucking infants to lie languishing in their sight for several days and 
nights, crying and gasping for life. Some they bound befoi'e a great 
fire, and after they were half roasted let them go. Some they hung 
up by the hair and some by the feet in chimneys ; smoked them with 
wisps of hay until they were suffocated. Women and maids were hung 
up by their feet and by their armpits, and exposed stark naked to pub- 
lic view. Some they cut and slashed with knives, and, after stripping 
them naked, stuck their bodies with pins and needles from head to 
foot, and with red hot pincers took hold of them by the nose and 
other parts of the body, and dragged them about the room until they 
made them promise to be Catholics, or until the cries of the wretched 
victims, calling upon God for help, induced them to let them go. If 
an}' endeavored to escape from those cruelties they pursued them 
into the fields and woods, where they shot at them as if they were 
wild beasts ; and they prohibited them from leaving the kingdom on 
pain of the galleys, the lash, and pei'petual imprisonment. On such 
scenes of desolation and horror the Romish clergy feasted their eyes, 
and made them a matter only of laughter and sport.* What fiendish 
crimes for those calling themselves civilized to perpetrate ! Could 
an American savage or a New Zealander have devised more barbarous 
and exquisite cruelties ! 

In the Island of Great Britain the flames of persecution have 
sometimes raged with unrelenting fury. During the last two or three 
years of the short reign of Queen Mary, it is computed that 277 per- 
sons were committed to the flames, besides those who were punished 
by fines, confiscations, imprisonments, or otherwise. Among those 
who suffered by fire there were five bishops, twenty-one clergymen, 
eight lay-gentlemen, and eighty-four tradesmen : one hundred hus- 
bandmen, fifty-nine women, and four children. Hunter, a .young- 
man of about nineteen years of age, was one of the unhappy victims 
of the Zeal of Queen Mary for Popery. Having been inadvertently 
betrayed by a priest to deny the doctrine of transubstantiation, he 
absconded to keep out of harm's way. Bonner, that notorious popish 
executioner, threatened ruin to the father if he did not deliver uj) the 
son. Young Hunter, hearing of his father's imminent peril, presented 
himself, and was burned to death instead of being rewarded for his 
filial piety. A woman of the island of Guernsey was brought to the 
flames without regard to her advanced pregnancy, and she was de- 

* Euc. Brit. Art. "Dragooning." 


livered of a child in the midst of the flames. One of the guards 
snatched the infant from the flames to save it, but the magistrate 
who superintended the execution ordered it to be thrown back, being 
resolved, he said, that nothing should survive which sprung from 
a parent so obstinately heretical.* The Protestant reformers also 
did somewhat in the work of persecuting and burning those who 
opposed their tenets; but their doings we shall have necessarily to 
advert to in the latter part of this book. 

When we consider on the one hand the j)urity of faith and morals 
which generally distinguished the victims of persecution ; and on the 
other, the proud, pampered priests and prelates, abandoned without 
shame to every species of wickedness, we can scarcely find words 
sufficiently strong to express the indignation and horror which arise 
in the mind when it views the striking contrast, and contemplates 
such scenes of impiety and crime. Could a religion which breathes 
peace and good will to men be more basely misrepresented ; or do 
the annals of the human race present a more striking display of the 
perversity and moral badness of mankind than we have in the case 
of the Catholic hierarchy? To represent religion as consisting in the 
belief of certain incomprehensible dogmas, and then to undeitake to 
compel men to believe these dogmas, which they could not possibly 
understand, and to inspire them to benevolence by racks and tortures 
and fires, is as absurd as it is impious and profane, and represents the 
Deity as delighting in the torment and death, rather than willing the 
life and salvation, of his creatures. 

Wherever religion is viewed as consisting chiefly in the observ- 
ance of a number of absurd and unmeaning ceremonies, it is to be 
expected that tlie pure morality inculcated in the New Testament, 
and in the Ten Commandments, will seldom be exemplified in human 
conduct. This is strikingly the case in those countries, both of the 
Eastern and Western world, where the Catholic religion, both Greek 
and Romish, reigns supreme. Mr. Howison, in his " Foreign 
Scenes," when speaking of the priesthood in the island of Cuba, 
says : " The number of i^riests in Havana exceeds four hundred. 
With a few exceptions they neither deserve nor enjoy the respect of 
the community. However, no one dares openly to speak against 
them. In Havana the church is nearly omnipotent and every one 
feels himself under its immediate jurisdiction. Most persons, there- 
fore, attend mass regularly, make confessions, uncover when passing 
a religious establishment of any kind, and stand still on the streets 
or stop their volantos, the moment the vesper bell begins ringing. 

* Kaime's Sketches. 


But they go no farther, and the priests clo not seem at all anxious 
that the practice of such individuals should correspond to their pro- 
fession. The priests show by their external appearance that they do 
not practice those austerities which are generally believed to be 
necessary concomitants of a monastic life. The sensual and un- 
meaning countenances that encircle the altars of the churches, and 
the levity and indifference with which the most sacred parts of the 
services are hurried through, would shock and surprise a Protestant 
were he to attend mass with the expectation of finding the monks 
those solemn and awe-inspiring pei-sons which people who liave never 
visited Catholic countries often imagine them to be." This account 
of Mr. Howison we know to correspond with fact ; for we have had 
a like account from a person who had resided in Cuba for some time. 
Of the city of Montreal in Canada the Roman Catholics number 
much the largest part of the population. The Church of Rome 
flourishes there, and its worship is carried on with great pomp and 
ceremony. We were present there one Sunday of late, June 11th, 
1871, when the Feast of Corpus Christi was celebrated with great 
eclat. A grand procession took place, which when moving extend- 
ed nearly a mile and a half in length. There were the various 
orders of the nuns, the Gray, Black nuns, etc.; and of the clergy. 
Friars or Monks, each having (as we suppose) its appropriate place 
in the ranks. Here and there at intervals in the long procession 
were schools of boys dressed neatly in black or gray suits, and 
schools of girls dressed in white with white flowing veils. Some of 
these boys and girls, we learn, were wards of the church, attending 
school in the convents ; and they appeared intelligent and cheerful. 
Here and there were societies of men, who, as we were informed, be- 
longed to the Temperance and other orders, and of women who did 
not appear to belong to any particular order, but were out display- 
ing their zeal for the church. At the head of each column or order 
was borne a silken flag variously figured, each flag having inscribed 
upon it the motto of the order, mostly in French or Latin. At in- 
tervals they were chanting lustily the hymns of the occasion to time 
kept by some of the priests ; and they sung in French or Latin. 
The sidewalks along the line of march and the avenues leadmg to 
it, as well as the windows and balconies, were crowded with specta- 
tors. When the canopy approached under which was borne the Cor- 
pus Christi, and accompanying which the bishop and other clerical 
dignitaries were supposed to be, arrayed in their gorgeous robes of 
office, the Catholics on both sides of the line of march uncovered 
tlieir heads, and knelt down on the sidewalk or on the side of the 
street, or wherever they happened to be, until the canopy had passed. 


This operation of uncovering and kneeling was repeated at every 
point of the way along which the procession moved. It seems, in- 
deed, strange that such senseless ceremonies should be practised in 
British America, in the latter part of the 19th century. The practice 
of the Romish clergy, Avho, giving their whole attention to the sub- 
ject of religion, must know better things, of imposing thus upon an 
ignorant and credulous populace, appears, to say the least, immoral. 
The following extract is from a modern writer on Italy : " When 
V^esuvius thunders aloud, or when an earthquake threatens them 
with destruction, when the fievj streams vomited from the roaring 
mouth of the volcano roll on, carr3dng desolation over the plain be- 
low, when the air is darkened by clouds of smoke and showers of 
ashes, the Xeapolitans will fall on their knees, fast, do penance, and 
follow the procession barefooted ; but as soon as the roar has ceased, 
and the flame has disappeared, and the atmosphere has recovered 
its wonted serenity, they return to their wonted mode of life, the}' 
sink again to their former level, and the tinkling sounds of the tum- 
berella call them again to the lascivious dance of the tarentella." 
As an evidence of the litigious character of the Neapolitans, the 
same author remarks : " That there is scarcely a landholder but has 
two or three cases pending before the courts ; that a lawyer and a 
suit are indispensable appendages of property ; and that some of the 
principal families have suits that have been carried on for a century ; 
and for which a certain sum is yearly appropriated, although the 
business never advances ; and at last the expenses swallow up the 
whole capital." " The infinite numbers of churches," says another 
late writer, " is one of the most efficient causes of the decline of the 
religion of Rome, whose maxims and practices are diametricallj- 
opposite to those of the Gospel. The Gospel is the friend of the 
people, the consoler of the poor. The religion of Rome, on the con- 
trary, considers all nations as great flocks, made to be shorn or eaten 
according to the good pleasure of the shepherd ; for her the golden 
lever is tlie lever of Archimedes. The favors of the Church are only 
showered on those who pay ; with money we may purchase the right to 
commit perjury and murder, and be the greatest villain at so much j)er 
crime, according to the famous tariff printed at Rome, entitled "Taxes 
of the Apostolic Chancery."' In a conversation which Bonaparte 
had with his friends at St. Helena, on the subject of religion, as re- 
lated by Las Casas, in his journal, the Emperor said, among man}^ 
other things : " How is it possible that conviction can find its way to 
our hearts, Avhen we hear the absurd language, and witness the acts 
of iniquity of the greatest number of those whose business it is to 
preach to us? I am surrounded with priests who preach incessantly 


that their reign is not of this world, and yet they lay hands on all 
they can get. The Pope is the head of that religion from heaven, 
and he thinks only of this world, etc. The Emperor ended the con- 
versation by desiring my son to bring him a New Testament, and 
taking it from the beginning he read as far as the conclusion of the 
speech of Jesus on the mountain. He expressed himself with the 
highest admiration at the purity, the sublimity, the beauty of the 
morality it contained, and we all experienced the same feeling." 
Had Napoleon, in his youth, taken that which he now heard read as 
the rule of his life, and lived according to it, what an amount of 
human suffering and destruction, which he caused, might have been 
spared, and how much a happier man he would have lived and died 
himself! Such facts as these we have adduced may give some idea of 
what the state of morality is in all Catholic countries, and what 
may be the height of civilization to which they have attained. 

Second, from the liistor-y and observation of Protestantism. 

Now, if we take a cursory glance at the Protestant branch of the 
Catholic Church, we shall observe a similar spirit in operation in it, 
as Ave have seen prevailed in the earl}^ Church under the Christian 
Roman emperors. The Church was at that time split up into a num- 
ber of sects, each distinguished from the other by its peculiar tenets. 
Protestant Christians are also divided into a great number of 
sects, each distinguished from the others by its peculiar tenets 
and opinions as to mode of worship, Church government, etc. The 
differences between these sects Avhich, in time past, were wide, are 
now becoming much narroAver. All these sects profess to believe 
the orthodox Catholic creeds, such as the Apostles' Creed, the Ni- 
cene Creed, and, some of them, the Atlianasian Creed, and the two or- 
thodox sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper ; but their belief 
in these creeds, etc., are very general, and they all differ from each 
other in manj^ particulars. 

The Protestant Church has been distinguished to a considerable 
extent hj the spirit of persecution Avhich raged Avith such unmitigating 
violence in the Romish Church. The Reformation had scarcely 
been begun in Germany and England, when a series of persecutions 
were begun against dissenters from the doctrines of the reformers ; 
and it is of late that these persecutions have ceased. Luther and 
Calvin did their part in this Avork in the continental countries of 
Europe ; and notwithstanding the unjust and cruel punishments 
Avhich English Protestants endured at the hands of Popish priests 
and princes, a short time only elapsed after they had themselves 


risen to power before they began in their turn to harass their dissent- 
ing brethren Avith vexations, and persecutions, and fines, and 
imprisonments, until many of them were compelled to seek a dwelling- 
place in a distant land. And shortly after the English independents 
had established themselves in America, they, in turn, set on foot a 
persecution against the Quakers no less furious than that to which 
they had themselves been subjected in the country fj'om which they 
had fled. They apprehended and imprisoned a number of those 
peaceably disposed and worth)'- persons, and seized upon the books 
they had brought out from England with them, and burned them. 
By a law which had been enacted against heretics in general, 
sentence of banishment was pronounced against them all ; and 
another law punished with death all Quakers who should return 
into the jurisdiction after banishment; and it is a fact that four 
persons suffered death uiider this impolitic and unjust law.* 

Nor did the reformed clergy in Scotland lose sight of that magis- 
terial bearing, which was assumed by the Romish Clergy. Upon a 
representation in 1646 from the commission from the Church of 
Scotland, James Bell and Colin Campbell, bailiffs of Glasgow, were 
committed to prison by the Parliament, merely for having said that 
" kirkmen meddled too much in civil matters."' f And even so late 
as the middle of the last century, when Whitefield, Wesley, and 
other earnest and pious men began to address the ignorant villagers 
of England upon the important subject of religion, " a multitude has 
rushed together, shouting and howling, raving and cursing," and 
accompan5-ing their ferocious cries and yells with loathsome or 
dangerous missiles, dragging or driving the preacher from his hum- 
ble stand, forcing him and those who wished to hear him to run for 
their lives, sometimes not without serious injury before they could 
escape. And these barbarous tumults have in many cases been well 
known to be instigated by persons, whose advantages of superior 
condition in life, or express vocation as instructors of the people, has 
been infamously lent in defence of the perpetrators, against shame or 
remorse or legal punishment for the outrage. And there would be 
no exaggeration in affirming that since Wesley and Whitefield began 
to conflict with the heathenism of that country, there have been in 
it hundreds of instances answering to this desciption. Yet the well- 
meaning and zealous men, who were thus set upon by a furious 
rabble of many liundreds, the foremost of whom acting in direct vio- 
lence, and the rest venting their savage delight in a hideous blending 
of ribaldry and execration, of jibing and cursing, were taxed with a 

* Morse's American Geography. f Kaime's Sketches. 


canting hypocrisy or a fanatical madness, for speaking of the pre- 
vailing ignorance in terms suitable to the state of the case. 

But we need, not go back over half a century in order to 
find instances of religious intolerance among the Protestant commu- 
nites and churches; our own times unhappily furnish examples of an 
intolerant and persecutiing spirit, though we are happy to be able 
to say that this spirit is fast disappearing among Protestants. About 
fifty years have elapsed since the Methodist chapel in Barbadoes was- 
thrown down, and demolished by the "mob-gentry," and with the 
connivance of the public authorities of that island ; * and Mr. 
Shrewsbury, a worthy missionary at that station, was obliged to fle& 
for his life. Previous to this outrage he suffered insult, contumely^ 
and reproach. He was abused as a villain, and hissed at on the 
streets, not by the mere rabble, but bj' the great vulgar, by merchants 
fi-om their stores, and individuals in the garb of gentlemen. By suck 
characters his chapel was surrounded and partly filled on Sunday, 
during the hours of worship. Their glass bottles had been previ- 
ously prepared and filled with a mixture of oil and asafoetida, and all 
on a sudden they were thrown with great violence among the people, 
and one was aimed at the head of the preacher ; and during the 
whole time of worship, stones were rattling against the chapel from 
every quarter. On the next Sabbath an immense concourse of people 
assembled, breathing out threatenings and slaughter, and from twen- 
ty to thirty of the gentlemen mob planted themselves around the 
pulpit, apparently ready to perpetrate any mischief. Men wearing 
masks, and having swords and pistols, came galloping down the 
street, and presenting their pistols fired them at the door ; and it 
was originally designed to have fire-crackers among the females, to 
set their clothes on fire. At length on an ensuing Sabbath this 
execrable mob, consisting of nearly two hundred gentlemen and 
others, again assembled with saws and hammers, axes, crowbars, and 
every other instrument necessary to execute their infamous purpose, 
and in the course of a few hours, the lamps, benches, pews, pulpit, 
and even the walls, were completely demolished. They entered the 
dwelling-house of the preacher, broke the windows and doors, threw 
out the crockery-ware, chopped up the tables, chairs, and every arti- 
cle of furniture ; tore the preacher's manuscripts and destroyed his 
library of more than three hundred volumes. All this was done 
under the light of the full moon, in- the presence of an immense 
crowd of spectators, without the least attempt being made either by 
the civil or military authorities to check them, while the unfortunate 

Report of the Wesleyan Missionary Society in 1824. Debates in Parliament, 1825. 



preacher with his wife in an advanced state of pregnancy had to flee 
to a neighboring island to save his life ! Such is the civilized and 
humane conduct of gentlemen of the 19th century, gentlemen who 
would no doubt consider it very unhandsome were they compared to 
the Vandals and Tartars or to the rude and barbarous savages of 
Caffraria or New-Zealand. How utterly abominable is the pride, 
hypocrisy, and deceit of the human heart exhibiting itself in such 
disgraceful and wicked proceedings? And such emissaries, often 
weak-minded and giddy-headed, in common parlance having no mind 
of their own, are sometimes set on to their barbarous work, perhaps 
by the sneering suggestion of others who are not so easy to be dis- 
covered, and, who if they are suspected and questioned, will not 
only pretend their total ignorance of it, but express their sympathy 
with the sufferer, although they are themselves the real and 
prime causes of the whole barbarity. Several instances of this kind 
have come under our own observation, one of which we shall relate. 
In a college * which we for some time attended, we had a worthy man 
for our president, a man, we had reason to believe, of a good Christian 
temper, and of a sound missionary spirit. He was accustomed to 
teach certain branches of knowledge, and had a recitation room, 
as the professors, set apart for the purpose of teaching in. Into this 
recitation room, situated on the second story, and containing bench- 
es, chairs, fire apparatus, tables, books, etc., there Avas brought one 
night a full-grown cow ; and what must one think was the surprise 
of the president on his coming next morning to meet his class, at 
finding such a tenant occupying his recitation room, which last, in- 
deed, was in an exceedingly disordered and filthy state! Some of 
the giddy-brained students who were discovered to have done this 
disgraceful deed suffered such penalties as the president and faculty 
thought proper to impose ; but any careful observer who was present 
:and knew the circumstances of the president in relation to some 
other influentials, would at once suspect that those who performed 
the Avrongful transaction were not the prime causes of it, but were 
incited to it by perhaps the sneering suggestion or remark of an- 
other, who, were he earnestly asked about it afterwards, would promp- 
tly disclaim all knowledge or intention on his part, concei'uing it 
before it happened, and would most likely pretend the deepest sym- 
pathy for the sufferer. Such is the deceit of the human heart ; and 
such are the devious ways of the old serpent. This worthy man 
was soon afterwards made a bishop, which office he now holds. 

About the same time of that transaction which we have related 

* The college to which we refer here is not that from which we graduated. 


as taking place in regard to the Methodist church at Barbadoes, the 
autliorities of Demerara set on foot a persecution against Mr. Smith, 
a missionary from the London Society, under various pretexts ; but 
his real crime in the eyes of his persecutors was his unwearied zeal 
in instructing the negroes iu the knowledge of religion. He was 
condemned to death by a court-martial, in opposition to every prin- 
ciple of justice. He died in prison, was refused the privilege of 
Christian burial, and his friends were prohibited from erecting a stone 
to mark the spot where his body was laid. The whole details of 
this transaction present a scene of savage barbarity, scarcely to be 
surpassed in the history of Europe. The death of this missionary 
was that event which prepared for the overthrow of the slave system 
in the British West Indies. It called forth one of Lord Brougham's 
noblest speeches, and stirred the heart and conscience of the English 
people. The blood of martyrs is sometimes the seed of freedom as it 
is of the church ; and the execution of John Brown, in Virginia, cor- 
responded in its effects to the murder of this worthy missionary in 
the West Indies.* 

In Switzerland, where formerly Protestantism had its stronghold, 
the demon of religious persecution has, even in the 19th century, 
raised its head. The council of state of the Pays de Vaud, at the 
instigation of the clergy, on January 15th, 1825, published a decree 
" prohibiting under the penalty of severe fines and imprisonments, 
a'll meetings for religious worship or instruction, other than those of 
the established church." And in the following May another decree 
was issued, which denounced "fines, imprison'ment, or banishment, 
upon the most private kind of religious assembly, or even the admis- 
sion of a single visitor to family worship." f In pursuance of these 
disgraceful laws several ministers and private Christians of high 
character for piety and learning were bauislied from the Canton, 
some for one, and some for two years, cut off from all means of sub- 
sistence, unless possessed of independent fortunes, or able to procure 
it by labor, and some of them perhaps left to starve and perish in 
foreign lands. If they returned before the expiration of their sen- 
tence, death was the penalty to be inflicted. One poor man, a school- 
master, in the principality of Neufchatel, was condemned to ten 
years' banishment. He was brought out from prison, tied with cords, 
and compelled to kneel in the snow in the public square to hear his 
sentence read. His crime was that of gathering together a few fel- 
low-Christians in his own house, to whom the Lord's Supper was 
there administered by a clergyman. 

* Report of the Wesleyan Missionary Society, for 1824. Debates in Parliament, 1825. 
+ Cong. Magazine, June, 1825. 


Nor has Eagiand been free from the spirit of persecution and 
intolerance in the 19th century. At Kenneridge, in Dorsetshire, a 
worthy and excellent individual belonging to the Wesleyan denomi- 
nation, had attended on a green where twenty or thirty persons were 
accustomed to congregate on Sunday afternoons to listen to the 
truths he thought it important to declare. The English Church cler- 
gvmau of the parish appi'oached with a retinue of servants and com- 
manded him to desist. The preacher took no heed to the command 
and proceeded to read the text. The clergyman then commanded the 
tithing man to seize him (which he had the power to do as a civil 
magistrate, for the clergymen of the Church of England very com- 
monly fill the office of justice of the peace as well as that of a priest). 
He Avas directed to be conveyed to Wareham jail ; and to every 
question the preacher put as to the ground of his being arrested, the 
reverend and worthy clergyman only replied by brandishing his 
walking-stick. Instances have occurred in which clergymen of this 
establishment have refused to bury the dead. At Chidds Ercal, in 
Shropshire, tlie child of a poor man was refused interment, and the 
father was obliged to carry it six miles before he could inter it in a 
cemetery. At Catsfield, in Sussex, a similar infamous act was com- 
mitted. At the moment the bell had tolled, when the earth was about 
to fall upon the coffin, and when the relations standing by wanted all 
the consolation Avhich religion can afford, at this moment the clergy- 
man appeared, but advanced only to give pain to the mourners, and 
to agonize their hearts by saying : " Now that you have waited an 
hour until it suited me to come, I will not inter your child ! I did 
not know that you were dissenters; take your child somewhere else, 
take it where you please, but here it shall not lie in consecrated 
ground." Just as if all places on the surface of the earth were not 
equally consecrated ; or, as if a cemetery or church-yard was a better 
and holier place to inter a dead body than any other place a person 
might choose. It is certain that a cemetery or churchyard, in the 
common acceptation of the term, has no superior sanctity over any other 
spot of ground; its superiority in this respect. is merely imaginary, 
and arises to the mind from the custom of mankind in all the ages of 
history being to bury their dead in certain places set apart for that 
purpose. In America, where many of the old superstitious notions 
have been given up, people very commonly, especially in New Eng- 
land, have each family their own burying ground on their own farm. 
This is as good a plan to follow as any other a person may choose 
with respect to the place of burial of the dead. This English family, 
however, to which we have just alluded, were not allowed to bury 
their child in the church-yard, and had to carry it eleven miles from 


the abode of its parents before they consigned it to its kindred dust 
in what they considered conseci'ated ground. 

At Mevagissey, in Cornwall, the rector refused to allow the corpse 
of a dissenter to be brought within the church, and, therefore, read 
the burial service in the open air. At Wellingborough, a clergyman, 
in opposition to a custom which had been practised for sixty years, 
issued orders that no bell should toll when a dissenter expired. He 
boldly avowed " that he would never allow the passing bell to be 
tolled for a marriage when the parties were dissenters." In reference 
to this case an appeal was made to the bishop of Peterborougli, who 
wrote a long letter on the subject, in which he defended the conduct 
of this Wellingborough rector. At Newport Pagnel two persons of 
decent appearance, teachers of Baptist societies, were collecting sub- 
scriptions for the erection of a new place of worship. After arriving 
at the residence of the parish clergyman they were taken before a 
clerical magistrate, who, upon the evidence which the other clergyman 
offered, that they were rogues and vagrants, committed them to 
Aylesbury jail, where they were confined for three weeks, in common 
with the basest felons, among convicted thieves of the most abandoned 
character ; nay, more, they were sentenced to the tread-mill, and 
kept at hard labor there, though during the whole time of their 
incarceration one of them was afflicted with spitting of blood. Their 
papers were seized upon, their money was taken from them, and by 
means of it the expense of sending them to prison was defrayed. 

Since the time to which these instances refer the " Society for 
the Protection of Religious Liberty," has been formed, and has 
brought forth to public view many similar instances, some of them of 
a more barbarous nature. And were it not for the protection which 
this society affords to the victims of religious intolerance it is high- 
ly probably that vexation, persecutions, insults, fines and imprison- 
ments on account of differences in religion would now be much 
more common than they are in England. Were such individuals as 
these to Avhom we have alluded permitted by the law to carry their 
intolerant spirit to its utmost extent, dissenters would have no 
security either for their lives or their property, and the fires of Smith- 
field might again be kindled to consume the bodies of all who re- 
fuse to conform to the dogmas of a national Church. 

The main history of the Protestant Churches since the reforma- 
tion, in which there is much of a persecuting spirit displayed, we 
have purposely left untouched in this review. There are certain 
subjects we have to deal with in the latter part of this book, which 
will require these historical facts to which we now allude to illus- 
trate them. By the time, therefore, the reader has advanced that 


far he will be able to learn much more as to the moral character of 
the reformed Churches as represented in history. It would have 
given us pleasure in our review thus far to have been able to present 
before the eye of the reader a more cheei-ful picture of the moral 
character of the civilized nations, and of the Christian Church ; but 
facts are stubborn things, and there is no resisting the foi-ce of the 
evidence which they adduce. We intend, however, to relieve some 
of the dark shades of this picture by exhibiting some faint radiations 
of truth and benevolence, which ajjpear amid the surrounding gloom. 
The dawn of a brighter day has appeared to gild our horizon. The 
Pope's temporal power has been taken from him, and his spiritual 
power and influence will coniinually henceforward wane, to be con- 
sumed and destroyed gradually until its end. Some of the Protest- 
ant establishments also are failing, that of the Irish Church having 
completely given way while one of an improved model has taken 
its place. Substantial knowledge is being more generally diffused 
among all classes of the people ; the shackles of despotism are burst- 
ing asunder ; the darkness of sujjerstition is gradually dispellinsr ; 
the spirit of persecution is borne down by the force of truth and of 
common sense; and the rights of conscience are being more generally 
recognized. Philanthropic institutions of various descriptions have 
been established ; missionary societies are extending their labors to 
almost every land ; and now the far-off continents are to some ex- 
tent coming under the influence of Christian civilization. 

The light of science now shines with a greater lustre than at any 
previous period of which history informs us. The Telescope has 
opened up to us distant scenes of the universe, and has enabled us 
to calculate the distance, character, and motions of the moon and 
planets. The microscope has introduced us to the invisible worlds 
of matter far beyond the ken of the unassisted eye. The electric 
Telegraph enables us to communicate momentarily with all parts of 
the earth. The Magnetic needle directs our course around the 
globe or to any point beyond the seas. The power of steam has 
been greatly developed to the use and convenience of mankind. 
The progress of invention has tended greatly to abridge human labor. 
Agriculture is practised more skilfully and advantageoush^ than in 
former times. The arts, both useful and ornamental, are extensively 
cultivated. The use of the art of printing puts substantial knowl- 
edge within the reach of all, even the poorest. Literature and 
practical science are the order of the day in our schools and acad- 
emies, and the youth of a dozen of years, whose time has been well 
employed in study, possesses more definite science at his command 
than the aged man of five centuries ago. But here the question 


arises : is it possible, judging from what we know of the past history 
of mankind, to bring the inhabitants of this world to a general ob- 
servance of the laws of benevolence, which is the true index of high 
moral character and civilization ? To such a question, we have an- 
swered frequently before that man has it in his power to cultivate 
the spirit of benevolence or of malevolence, either of which he 
chooses ; but in this connection we answer it thus : that ivhatever 
man has accomplished man may accomplish. Amidst the darkness, 
depravity and wickedness with which the earth has been generally 
enveloped individuals have occasionally arisen who have shone as 
lights in the moral world, and exhibited bright patterns of true 
Christian temper and of active benevolence. The founders of the 
Christian faith appear to have belonged io this class. The Apostle 
Paul had his mind imbued with a large portion of the spirit of philan- 
thropy. He voluntarily undertook a tour of benevolence to the na- 
tions, and notwithstanding the persecutions, the reproaches, the 
stripes, and imprisonments which he encountered; and notwithstand- 
ing the perils in the waters, perils of robbers, perils by his own 
countrymen, perils in the city and perils in the wilderness to which 
he was subjected ; and in the face of death itself, he prosecuted, with 
a noble heroism, his labor of love, purely for the sake of promoting 
the best interests of mankind. All who at the same time engaged 
in the same benevolent undertaking sacrificed all private interest 
and selfish consideration in order to bring men to a belief of the 
doctrine which they had themselves espoused. 

In modern times many individuals have arisen and distinguished 
themselves and reflected honor on their race by the benevolence 
which they displayed. The name of John Howard is familiar to 
every one who is at all acquainted with the annals of philanthropy. 
This excellent man devoted his time, his strength, his genius, his 
literary acquisitions, his fortune, and finally his life, to pursuits for 
the benefit of humanity and to the unwearied prosecution of active 
benevolence. He ti-avelled over every country of Europe and into 
the adjacent regions of Asia, impelled by the spirit of true Christian 
love in order to survey the mansions of sorrow and pain, and to de- 
vise schemes for the relief of human wretchedness wherever it existed. 
And in the execution of this scheme of benevolence the energies of 
his mind were so completely absorbed, that he never suffered him- 
self for a moment to be diverted from his purpose even by the most 
attractive of those objects, namely, the pleasure of music, which for- 
merly possessed all their most powerful influence upon his curiosity 
and taste. Also, Walter Venning, who has been denominated by 
Prince Galitzin the Second Howard, followed the course of his illiis- 


trious predecessor, and with the most fervent Christian zeal devoted 
his short but very useful life to the alleviation of human misery, and 
to the promotion of the best interests of thousands of wretched indi- 
viduals, who were all but lost. He withdrew from the ordinary 
routine of what is termed genteel society in order that he might de- 
vote all the energies of his soul to benevolent occupations. He com- 
menced his philanthropic career by co-operating in the organizations 
of " The Society for the Improvemement of Prison Discipline," which 
was founded in London in 1816 ; and he afterward visited the prisons 
in the cities of St. Petersburgh, Novgorod, Tver, Moscow, and other 
cities in Russia. The prisons, hospitals, workhouses, madhouses, 
houses of correction, and the abodes of misery of every description 
in St. Petersburgh were visited by him daj' after day ; and many a 
prisonerbowed down with affliction and iron, was cheered, instructed, 
comforted, and served by his ministrations ; for, it is said, that his 
philanthropy extended both to the bodies and souls of men. This 
truly benevolent person died in the city of St. Petersburgh in the 
year 1821, in the fortieth year of his age. 

In our own day we have had a noble example of generosity and 
benevolence in George Peabody. An American by birth, having 
amassed a large fortune by the industries of trade and commerce in 
London, he liberall}" bestowed a goodly portion of it to provide 
shelter and comforts for the poor of that vast metropolis. In his 
native state he founded libraries for the instruction and enlighten- 
ment of the people, and his generous beneficence, and magnificent 
donations to worthy objects, ensure to him the respect of mankind 
in after ages. IMen, who have anj' pecuniary legacy to bequeath to 
mankind, should, like George Peabody, always keep the poor and the 
indigent prominently in view. As the poet Homer, for the honor of 
whose birth-place, we are told by Cicero, several rival cities disputed, 
so this worthy man had the honor of bis burial amicablj- disputed by 
two great nations, England and America. 

Many other examples might be adduced from the history of our 
times, and illustrious characters now living, both men and women, to 
demonstrate that a noble and disinterested benevolence is a principle 
capable of being developed and exercised even in the present de- 
generate state of mankind. We find parents sometimes displaying a 
high degree of benevolence toward their children ; and sacrificing 
their ease and their personal interests in order to secure their health, 
their happiness, and their future good. We find bosom friends as 
David and Jonathan, and as Damon and Pythias, rejoicing in each 
other's welfare, and encountering difficulties and dangers in promot- 
ing the interests of the objects of their friendship. What then 


should hinder such dispositions from becoming universal ? What 
should hinder them from being cultivated and exercised by all 
rational beings ? Would not the universal exercise of such disposi- 
tions be highly desirable ? Would it not tend to banish war and 
discord from the world, and promote peace on the earth and good- 
will among men ? Why then are such dispositions so rarely to be 
met with? Not because the universal exercise of them is a thing 
impossible, but because men, actuated by pride and selfishness, are 
unwilling to give full scope to the cultivation and exercise of the 
benevolent affections ; because they have never yet persisted in their 
endeavor to bring these into full operation. If all the energies of the 
intellect, and all the treasures which have been expended in foster- 
ing malignant passions, and in promoting contentions and warfare, 
had been devoted to the great object of cultivating and exercising 
the principle of benevolence, and distributing happiness among men, 
the moral, yes, and natural, aspect of our globe would long ago have 
assumed a very different appearance from what it now presents to 

We have examples before us not only of a few insulated individ- 
uals, but of societies where the principle of active benevolence to a 
greater or less degree pervades the whole mass. The people denom- 
inated Quakers have always been distinguished for their humane 
and peaceable dispositions, their probity and hospitality towards 
each other, their unostentatious liberality to indigent and suffering 
humanity, the modest cheerfulness of their manners, their opposition 
to war, and the active zeal they have displayed in promoting the moral 
welfare of mankind. We give the following extract from a daily paper 
of February 25th, 1872 : " M. Drouyn de Lhuys, in his capacity as 
President of the French Soci^tedes Agriculteurs, has written a letter 
which sets forth the help given to France by the English Quakers dur- 
ing the war. These generous people have bestowed in the most unos- 
tentatious way aid to the extent of four millions of francs in the 
period named. The sum has been proved by regular accounts writ- 
ten by M. de Lhuys, kept with the exactitude of a commercial house. 
He expresses the gratitude of a Frenchman in manly and affectionate 
terms, not only for the help given, but for the delicate manner in 
which it has been bestowed. There is something fine and touching 
in these friends, the .professed advocates of peace, thus giving out of 
their moderate possessions to repair the ravages of war." Thus the 
spirit of benevolence has to make repairs for the damage done by 
the outworkings of the spirit of malevolence ; and it is quite as im- 
portant that men should do the justice to themselves and to man- 
kind, of restraining and eradicating the spirit of malevolence, that 


delights in war and every evil work, as it is that they and all others 
should cultivate and exercise the spirit of benevolence, which delights 
in all that is good. The Quakers are also distinguished for the sim- 
plicity and purity of the creed they profess. The Moravians are 
likewise distinguished for their affectionate intercourse with each 
other, the liberality of their dispositions, the peaceableness of their 
temper, the purity and simplicity of their lives, and their missionary 
efforts for converting the heathen to the truths of the Gospel. 
Would that the whole race of mankind were Quakers or Moravians 
(if they will not be more perfect), notwithstanding their peculiarities 
of opinion. With all their faults society would then present a more 
beautiful and alluring aspect than it has yet done ; peace and in- 
dustry would be promoted ; the fires of persecution would never be 
kindled ; the sciences and the arts that tend to peace and order 
would be cultivated ; philanthropy would be exercised by the nations; 
and the people would cultivate the spirit of benevolence toward 
each other, and learn war no more. 

Other things which tend to illustrate further the probable permanent 
. existence of the cosmos, or of the order of nature and man, in the 
main, as now existing. 

After our review of the moral character of mankind in its two 
aspects of bad and good ; and after having illustrated that man 
himself is the former of his own character and determines which of 
these it shall be ; Ave now think it proper, for the sake of digression, 
variety and information, to turn the attention of our readers to other 
things connected with our subject which tend to illustrate further the 
probable permane7it existence of the cosmos or of the order of nature and 
man, in the main, as now existing. 

First, then, we will state as we have done before that there is no 
evidence except what is derived from allegorical records, susceptible only 
of a like literal interpretation as is given to the ancient cosmologies, which 
goes to prove the contrary of the probable permanency of the cosmos; and 
such it is well known, is no evidence.* But having before b/ought for- 

* It is easily seen, however, that tlie ■ lestion of the permanent existence of the cosmos as 
to the phenomena of forms, changes, etc., can only be of secondary importance if it be 
allowed that the substance of these bodies has never not existed, t If any one should 
undertake to say that these bodies assumed or were given their present forms and motions at 
some period of the past from their substance existing before in a nebular state, it would be well 
for such an one tn say at what time that change took place, and how long their substance had 
existed in that supposed nebular state before it became into these globular forms, and in what 
state it existed before it became into the supposed nebular state. For if men allow themselves 

t See page 10. 


ward arguments which tended in general to illusti:ate this as to the 
phenomena of form, motion, &c., the reader will readily understand 
that these arguments apply to the existence of man and of all other 
animals, and to plants, as well as to the phenomena of the celestial 
spheres, to light, colors, &c., for all things are embraced in the cos- 
mos ; and will now be pleased to accompany us while we illustrate 
this subject in general and at length. 

Solomon was a wise man and uttered the truth when he said that 
there is no new thing under the sun. Paul, or any other, was a wise 
man also, who said : If a man shall not sow neither shall he reap, 
and whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap. It is a fact 
known to all common observers that all plants and animals bring 
forth after their own kind. The farmer does not expect to reap if he 
do not sow or plant, nor does he expect that a blade of rye will 
spring from a grain of wheat that lie has sown, neither of barley or 
of buckwheat or any other than a blade of wheat ; and he is never dis- 
appointed in this expectation. Nor does he expect that any of his 
domestic animals will bring forth other than young of their own spe- 
cies, unless he has crossed the species for the purpose of producing a 
hybrid, as for example, a mule, the result of the crossing of the ass and 
horse species. 

Of all the known species of plants — and there are reckoned as 
known, we believe, about ninety thousand species-there is not one that 
produces other than its own kind. Also, each of these species is distin- 
guished by having varieties in it, and each of these varieties brings 
forth after its own kind. For instance the species oak, of the genus 
quercus, is distinguished by such varieties as the white oak, red oak, 
etc., as almost every one knows, and each of these varieties propa- 
gates after its own kind. The seed of the red oak will bring forth a 
red oak, that of the white oak a white oak, etc. Also, of the birch 
species there are several varieties, and each of these brings forth its 
own kind. And so it is with all the other species of plants and their 
varieties, unless, as some say happens, and which is not improbable 
to take place, that a different variety may arise within the same 
genus from the pollen of a plant of one variety falling upon and fer- 
tilizing the seed of a plant of another variety of the same genus, 
whence a new variety, a cross between these two varieties of the 
same genus or species might arise. 

to launch out into the region of conjecture with respect to this subject, there is do knowing 
where thej' will terminate their speculations and theories concerning it. * 

* See Herbert Spencer's " Principles of Philosophy," in which he undertakes to illustrate 
an infinite series of Evolutions and Dissolutions of the forms of Matter, which is as impossible 
to conceive as infinite space or infinite time, i. c, it is to us as nothing. 


Of all the kuown species of animals — and there are reckoned as 
known nearly as many as there are of plants, without reckoning the 
microscopic species — the general natural rule is that each species, as 
well as their several varieties, brings forth after their own kind. This 
they do permanently, unless, as we have said before, a hybrid is pro- 
duced by the arbitrary government of man. Thus in the animal king- 
dom propagation according to species and kind is the gieat rule ; hy- 
bridism the very rare exception. But it is an absolute fact, to 
which there is no known exception, that no plant or animal of any 
kind whatever can be produced unless the seed exists before from 
whence it is to spring. So then, not only are all plants and animals 
propagated in succession from their own kinds, but neither plants 
nor animals of any kind could exist had not their seed pre-existed to 
give them birth. And conversely the seeds could not exist had not 
the plants and animals existed to produce them. The seeds, there- 
fore, of all the plants and animals in the earth must have always 
existed and consequently the plants and animals themselves must 
have existed and been pi-opagated, were they not produced from non- 
existence at some past time in some way of which we have no ex- 

Xow propagation according to kind has taken place in all the 
periods of time of which we have historical records. These last go 
back in the case of Egypt and some other Eastern nations for a 
space of nearly 4000 j'ears. This is the extent of time to which we 
have the written experience of mankind, (unless we receive the 
writings of the Hindoos and Chinese, which extend back for many 
thousand vears before, and which are doubtless as authentic as the 
Egyptian records) and thus far may we profit from it. What has, 
th'en, existed and been taking place with such undeviating regularity 
for such a length of time, and what we see now existing and taking 
place, with no signs of its discontinuance, we may be allowed to sus- 
pect is permanent, always existing, always taking place, since no evi- 
dence exists to the contrary. 

But geology, or the knowledge which man has obtained of the na- 
ture and consti'uction of the earth's crust, may have something to 
teach us concerning the earth. This knowledge is indeed very limited, 
since geology has only been pursued for a short time, but it has 
nevertheless already done something, as did astronomy a good deal, 
towards the removal of erroneous and superstitious notions. The latter 
of these, which is a definite science, — i. e., accounts well for all the 
celestial phenomena concerning the motions and modes of existence — 
does aAvay with the old Hebrew idea of creation from every mind 
that has made it a studv. Geologv, which cannot be called a defi- 



iiite science,but only an accumulation of scraps and gleanings of knowl- 
edge derived from observation and examination of small parts of the 
earth's surface, has still so far effected as to show tlie falsity of the old 
idea of the earth and all visible things having been made to exist out of 
nothing in six literal dayS. Though the earth's centre is about four thou- 
sand miles from its surface yet geologists in their researches have not 
penetrated more than a mile or two* of that distance, and this only 
in detached spots ; while the great extent of the earth's surface, and 
its whole interior, remain still unexplored. From this it need not 
be inferred that scientific men must necessarily be altogether igno- 
rant of the approximate density and consequently weight of which 
the bodies must be which go to make up the earth's interior and 
central regions ; this knowledge they claim to come to, at least ap- 
proximately, from a consideration of the earth's position in space and 
of tlie force of gravity which it exerts on the moon and planets 
situated at different distances from it. About three-fourths of the 
earth's surface is covered with water. Take a small artificial globe, 
such as they use in schools, and bringing the south pole under your 
eye and then viewing it all round you will see the great dispropor- 
tion of the extent of the dry land to that of the water upon the 
earth's surface. The bottoms of the seas, lakes, and oceans then, as 
well as most of the dry parts of the surface of the earth remain unex- 
plored by geologists. Hence it is seen how little information, com- 
paratively speaking, geology affords us concerning the earth. But it 
gives us some information. It proves, as well as does the common 
experience of mankind, that parts of the earth which are now dry 
and subject to cultivation were at certain periods of the past a prey 
to the waves. We have seen a house in one of the western counties 
of New York State built of such limestone as is mainly made up of 
water shells, some of the shells larger than our fist, and these stones 
are from the farm on which the house is built. A great part of this 
section of country, especially the valley parts, present a like geological 
formation, indicating that at some time it was covered with water. 
There are large lakes in the vicinity, and one might suppose, Avitli 
respect to the particular section of country to which we allude, that 
at some time in the past the waters of Lake Ontario extended to a 
considerable distance south of its present southern boundary, but 
that the gradual enlargement of the St. Lawrence river by the con- 
stant flow of the water through it, by means of which a greater 
volume of water could pass through from the Great Lakes to the 

* Tills means below the level surface. If we consider the heights of some mountains which 
are the result of upheaval from below the earth's surface, we find geologists have knowledge 
of the interior of the earth at certain places for twelve or fourteen miles. 


Atlantic, may haA^e drained it by degrees. There is, however, no 
sufficient reason to believe that at any period of the past the waters 
at large covered a greater extent of the earth's surface than they do 
now, or that more than comparatively small portions of land are at 
any time lost or set free by the water. People livino- near the sea 
shore have constant experience of the wearing effects of the action 
of the waves on the coast. This is especially the case where the 
coast barrier is of a soft clayey character. When it is of hard and 
resisting substance, as rock, the wearing effect is not so noticeable 
during the lapse or two or three generations of men. But the effect 
on some coasts by the waters heaping up sand and other material, is 
that land is made. This is noticeably the case around some of the 
great lakes of North America ; and some geologists go so far as to 
say that all the land between the Mohawk and Pludson rivers and 
the Atlantic Ocean, comprising a large part of eastern New York 
and New England, has been thus made, and by upheaval. 

Also, at the mouths of rivers there is much land made by deposits 
from the waters. The delta of the Mississippi is of this character, 
the extent of which is at least 12,300 square miles, and this is com- 
puted by Sir Charles Lyell to have been 33,500 years in the course 
of formation. The Ganges performs even a greater work of deposit- 
ing than this. In the four rainy months, at 500 miles from its mouth, 
it was found to bear seawards 577 cubic feet of solid matter per sec- 
cond. Its annual discharge has been computed to be 6,368,077,440 
cubic feet ; an amount of matter equal in weight to sixty great 
pyramids of Egypt, although the base of that immense pile covers 
eleven acres, and its apex is 500 feet above the level of the plain. 
Yet even this does not measure the depositions Avhich are going on 
in the upper part of the Bay of Bengal ; for it is considered the Brah- 
mapootra contributes as much as the Ganges does to the sedimentary 
accumulation. From this we may form some conception of what 
great extents of land there are constantly being made by the deposi- 
tions of all the rivers in the world which empt}^ into the seas and 
oceans; for every ri^'^er bears down to the ocean an amount of matter 
in proportion to the volume of water it discharges, and the nature of 
the country which it drains.* 

An admirable illustration of this subject is offered to us in the 
lake of Geneva. The river Rhone passes through this lake. It 
enters the lake at the upper end, its waters discolored by the mud ; 
but on leaving the lake its waters are transparent blue, the mud hav- 
ing been deposited in the lake. As this has been going on for cen- 

See, further, Lyell's " Principles of Geology," pp. 273, 283. 


turies we may expect to find some evidences of the -work of the river. 
This is given us in the alluvial tract which stretches from the head 
of the lake for six or seven miles. It is a marshy plain, higher than 
the level of the water, and occupying what was once the bed of the 
lake. If this state of things continues the Rhone will eventually 
511 up the whole lake. The rate of the advance of the delta may be 
gathered from the fact that the Roman town Portus Valesia, which 
stood on the margin of the lake is now more than a mile and a half 
inland, the river having added to its delta this quantity in about 
eight centuries. By soundings it is found that the mud deposits 
reach some two miles from the river's mouth. On these alluvial 
tracts wild grasses are generally found growing, that is, species 
peculiar to the waters and to marshes, and these are often mixed 
with some of the cultivated grasses, the seeds and plants of which 
have been brought down and deposited by the waters of the river. 

Examples of the loss of land by the waters, especially by the 
action of the waves on coasts, are of frequent occurrence on the 
coasts of Britain. Thus, on the coast of Yorkshire from Bridlington 
to Spurin,a distance of 36 miles, it is computed that the waves eroded 
2\ yards annually, so that the sea has encroached two miles within 
the last fifteen centuries. Many old maps of Yorkshire, indicate 
that v ill asres once stood where now the waves hold undisputed sway, 
and ports mentioned in past history are no longer to be found. The 
same destruction is taking place on the coasts of Norfolk and Suffolk. 
The sea-port towns are being driven back by the encroaching waters. 
The sites they occupied in past years now form their harbors. Bet- 
ween Cromer and Mundesley, according to the Ordnance survey of 
1838, the cliff has receded at the rate of fourteen feet a year. On 
the same coast, as in Yorkshire, many villages are only historical 
remembrances. The church-tower of Eccles is still seen rising out 
of the seasand, but all other remnants of the village have long since 
succumbed to the action of the waves, or have been covered with 
sand-hills which are dispersed along that coast. Dunwich, on the 
coast of Suffolk, offers another remarkable instance of the conquests 
of the sea. What is now a small villaQ'e was once a largfe and flour- 
ishing seaport ; records of the town are preserved from Doomsday 
book, from which we learn that the sea must have encroached on the 
land to the distance of several miles. Also, the Goodwin sands, 
which are from three to seven miles from the coast of Kent, nearly 
opposite to Ramsgate, tradition informs us were once the estates of 
the Earl Godwin. England is, however, indebted to the sea for a 
recent gift of large tracts of land in Lincolnshire, and Cambridge- 
shire, and the 300 miles called the " Humber Warp." Other countries 


are far more indebted ; Holland and Denmark are well-nigh wholly 
the products of the German ocean deposited in the most recent 
geological periods; and Tyre and Sidon, celebrated sea-ports of 
Phoenicia, mentioned in the Scriptures, are now several miles 

Changes corresponding to these are taking place on the coast of 
Italy, and to a greater or less extent on all other coasts. When any 
portion ot land has been gained from the water, man advances on it, 
bringing his plants and animals with him, and the water grasses being 
subdued, these are propagated thereon. Or if for the course of ages 
there be no civilized men to occupy it, the seeds of vegetables from 
the old land become more or less scattered thereon, and the roots of 
vegetables, large and small, from the old land, become gradually ex- 
panded thereon, so that if the soil be adapted to their growth these 
grow up, and in the course of ages all this new land may become 
covered with vegetables large and small, as the old land. The reader 
should remember the slowness with which these natural events take 
place, and in a low state of civilization man scarcely perceives them. 
The Irish and Danes, when they contemplate their peat-bogs* of such 
great extent, and some of them we suppose from 100 to 150 feet 
deep, may well bethink themselves on the millions of years during 
which these vegetable deposits were being made, and should glorify 
their great Creator, who has arranged and superintended this whole 

Another subject which it is proper to mention in this connection 
is that of earthquakes. At different periods of time portions of the 
earth's surface have been elevated above the general level by the 
action of internal forces, igneous or aqueous, or both of these com- 
bined in the production of steam, and corresponding portions have 
been depressed, in some cases doubtless lost, by being submerged in 
water. Thus the differences of level on the land surface of the earth 
have arisen either from the hills and mountain ranges having been 
pushed up by internal forces, or from the land on both sides of these 
having subsided. Elevation and depression have doubtless always 
been taking place on the earth's surface. The universal action of 
water is to level, and it is considered that should no other cause in- 
terfere with the degrading and filling up which is carried on by 
every rain drop, river and ocean, the surface of the earth, after a 
requisite number of ages, would become level. This however, can 
never be the case, for their exists a force in the earth which constantly 
opposes the action of water. Here, as in every domain of nature, is 

* The peat-bogs are incipient coal-beds ; and, couversely, tlae coal-beds are ancient bogs. 


a finely adjusted balance, the aqueous agency on the one hand and 
the i'J-ueous agency on the other, the one wearing down, the other 
elevating ; the one filling up and making the surface even, the other 
disrupting and throwing existing arrangement into disorder. The 
io-ueous action is exerted in three ways ; in volcanoes, in earthquakes 
and in the gradual upheaving and subsiding of portions of the earth's 


Many facts go to prove that in the earth's interior, and not far 
from its surface, there are vast accumulations of igneous matter. 
This sometimes finds vent in great quantities by means of volcanoes, 
of Avhich there are known to be 225 active ones (or rather volcanoes 
which have been know to erupt within the last 150 years), besides 
a laro'e number of inactive ones, on the earth's surface. These accu- 
mulations of fire, as we have intimated, are in detached places of the 
interior, and the water percolating through the fissures in the rocks 
finds its way into these fiery places, and thus a large amount of steam 
is o-eaerated, which, in its efforts to escape, sometimes finds vent by 
the mouths of volcanoes, and sometimes produces the disturbances 
of the earth's surface which are called earthquakes, sometimes caus- 
in"- the destruction of large cities and flourishing districts, and the 
elevation of certain parts of the earth's into hills and mountain ranges 
and the consequent depression of other corresponding parts. If the 
whole interior of the earth were one mass of molten matter, as some 
geologists are wont to suppose, then according to the laws of hydro- 
statics, the pressure exerted at one point by the expanding steam 
must be felt by the whole liquid mass ; for liquids transmit pressures 
equally in all directions ; hence, the same force which throws into 
action one volcano must also cause all the neighboring volcanoes to 
erupt ;• and the same force which throws into disturbance one por- 
tion of the earth's surface, transmits an equal disturbing agency to 
every other part. This argument finds a remarkable illustration in 
one of the Sandwich islands. Mauna Loa is a volcano, frequently 
active ; there is a crater near its summit, 10,000 feet above the ocean 
level ; 6,000 feet upon one flank of this mountain is another crater, 
Kilauea. It often happens that while Loa is in action, the lava in 
Kilauea is molten, 5^et undisturbed. It appears an inevitable conse- 
quence, that if these craters both derive their lava from the same 
reservoir, the force which propels the molten matter to the higher 
crater must cause a jet of lava to be thrown from Kilauea to a simi- 
lar height. That simultaneous disturbances would take place in 
each volcano, if their ducts led to the same reservoir, may be fairly 
inferred from the fact that we have numerous accounts of volcanic 
action occurring at the same moment at many distant points. For 



example, a violent earthquake visited Chili in 1835 ; at the same mo- 
ment the shock was felt over a Avide area ; the two volcanoes, Van- 
tales, and Osorno, burst into action ; and at Juan Fernandez, 720 
miles distant, a submarine eruption took place. Thus, the commo- 
tion, in some deep-seated reservoir, affected a tract of country 900 
miles long and 600 broad ; and these examples show that some of the 
subterranean reservoirs are of greater extent than others ; and also 
determines that the' whole interior of the earth, reckoning at any 
distance from its surface, is not a mass of liquid fire. 

The ordinary elevation and depression of the earth's surface takes 
place frequently when by the fluctuations of the temperature of the 
earth's crusts the rocks expand or conti-act, in the former case of 
which an elevation takes place in the surface immediately above the 
locality' which experiences the expansion ; — in the latter case, es- 
pecially Avhen the contraction or cooling down takes place rapidly 
fissures are made in the rocks, which admit the water to the ig- 
neous regions. When the shock takes place in the interior it is 
propagated on all sides from the centre of disturbance in a wave, 
which reaches the surface, and as it rolls wider and wider from its 
centre causes all the phenomena exhibited in an earthquake, grad- 
ually decreasing in its power until it becomes imperceptible. There 
may be earthquakes of which the igneous agency is the main cause; 
but it is a remarkable fact that all volcanoes, and ranges of volcanoes 
are in the neighborhood of seas and oceans.* 

It would be much beyond the limits of our space to chronicle the 
destructions which the erujDtions of volcanoes have brought on 
human beings ; but it may be permitted us to mention the effects of 
some remarkable earthquakes. The effects of some of these were 
felt over vast regions of the globe. One occurred at Lisbon in Por- 
tugal, on the 1st of November, 1755, the effects of Avliieh were felt 
over an area four times as large as Europe. The shock was preceded 
by no premonitory symptoms ; but, with a tremendous roar, the city 
reeled and fell. It seems from observations made on scientific prin- 
ciples that the centre of disturbance was some eighty miles from 
Lisbon, out at sea. The actual scene of the gaseous explosion must 
have been deep-seated, since its effects were felt over such a large 
area. The water rose suddenly twenty feet in the West Indies. The 
o-reat lakes of North America felt the movement. In Scotland, Loch 
Lomond rose on one beach more than two feet, the water not par- 

See Humljoldt's Cosmos, ^ol. T. for an elaborate account of volcanoes. 

* Of the 225 active volcanoes 155 or two-thirds are situated on the islands of our globe, and 
70 or one-third on the continents. In the interior of the basin of the South Pacific ocean and 
around it are found 198 or nearly seven-eights of the whole number. 


ticipating in the hirch of the land. The waves of disturbance ex- 
tended to the very north of Europe. In six minutes, 60,000 people 
in Lisbon perished. Many had assembled on the wide expanse of the 
new marble quay out of the way of the falling houses, when suddenly 
the quay with its living throng sunk with many ships in the harbor, 
and not a body, nor the splinter of a wreck, was ever known to rise 
from the watery depths. We can only suppose that a fissure opened 
beneath the harbor, and, after engulfing the whole, suddenly closed 
in. In this earthquake a remarkable proof was offered of the fact 
that the earthquake wave is more readily propagated in some for- 
mations than in others. The lower part of the city which rested on 
blue clay was most severely shattered, while that part of the city 
which was built on limestone and basalt escaped. The wave move- 
ment passed along the earth's surface at the rate of twenty miles an 
hour ; the sea wave which in such cases usually follows the land 
wave at a much slower pace, rolled about four miles in the same 
time. The sea wave is generally the cause of as much loss of life as 
the actual violence of the shock. This may be well understood from 
the fact that at Cadiz, the wave was sixty feet high. But the reason 
why the waters of Loch Lomond did not participate in any percept- 
ible degree in the lurch which the land gave is that that lake is of so 
small an extent, and that the water wave travels so much slower 
than the land wave. 

South America has for centuries been the scene of repeated earth- 
quakes. A few years after Lima was built, in 1582, the city was 
ruined, and since then the catastrophe has been repeated some twenty 
times. In all the cities of that neighborhood the ecclesiastical year 
is full of anniversaries commemorating terrible overthrows or mar- 
vellous escapes. But none of these calamities seem comparable to 
that which has paralyzed that country some four years ago. On the 
13th and 16th of August, 1868, two earthquake shocks passed over 
Peru and Ecuador, ruining every town and city, and leaving between 
two and three hundred thousand people dead to putrify in the trop- 
ical sun. Arica, a sea-port town, was completely covered with the 
wave. One who was present at the catastrophe, and who survived 
it, states, that upon the first shock, at a quarter past five in the after- 
noon, he with some others jumped upon a barge, when the great 
wave carried them on its crest, completely over the town, above the 
spire of the churchy and landed them unharmed nearly a mile 

The chief geological effect of earthquakes is shown in the per- 
manent alteration of the level of the land. In 1822, the coast of 
Chili was raised some two feet, while further inland the elevation 


was more than double this extent. In 1855, the coast of New 
Zealand, for ninety miles, gave evidence of a rise of nine feet. (For 
many other facts illustrative of the alteration of level in all parts of 
the world as a consequence of internal disturbances, the reader may 
consult Lyell's Principles of Geology, vol. II.) 

But there is found to be a gradual alteration of level taking place 
on the earth's surface, not attended with convulsive movements, 
which is more important than those local variations. Observers find 
it difficult to establish these facts, because there is no standard which 
is not itself subject to alteration. Careful investigations, however, 
of the coast of Sweden has shown that most of the Scandinavian 
peninsula is rising at the rate of four feet a centur}'. The coast is 
favorable for the observation ; there are no tides in the Baltic, and 
the cliffs which line the coasts descend perj^endicularly into the sea. 
Few other places present the same advantages for observation. The 
water level has been repeatedly marked, and the rise judged by its 
change. It has also been observed that the bed of the South Pacific 
Ocean is sinking in these ages. Some judge thus from the fact that 
the beds of the coral formation are found far below the depth of 
twenty fathoms, below which, it has been said, the coral insect could 
not exist from the pressure of the water being too great ; just as if 
any man of sane mind could believe that an insect which exists under 
the pressure of twenty fathoms of water would be prevented from exist- 
ing at five times that depth " by its pressure." There are doubtless 
portions of the bed of the Southern Ocean sinking to correspond 
with the elevations which are taking place in the Northern hemis- 
phere, for, for every elevation there is a corresponding depression on 
the earth's surface. 

One well known proof of the repeated oscillations of the earth's 
crust is that which is offered by the temple of Serapis, near Puzzuoli 
in the Bay of Naples. The ruins of this temple consist of three 
pillars of marble, Iiewn out of solid blocks of more than fort}^ feet 
high. The history of this remarkable temple appears to be as fol- 
lows : From certain inscriptions discovered in the vicinity, we learn 
that in the year 105 B. C. a temple dedicated to Serapis existed on 
the shore. In 1828, the handsome mosaic pavement was discovered 
five feet beneath that from which the pillars rise. The existence of 
this pavement indicates that the land must have sunk, and the present 
floor have been raised above the level of the water. In the early 
part of the 3rd century, the temple was repaired and beautified by 
the Emperor Alexander Severns. At what time it was deserted, it is 
not known, but, in 1749, the following facts were brought to light 
by excavatiug : That when the sea broke in the salt water caused a 



hot spring which exists to throw down a dark calcareous deposit two 
feet thick. Above this a Layer of volcanic tufa was found reposing, 
which must have been ejected by the neighboring volcano. This 
deposit is not regular, varying from five to nine feet in thickness. 
The eruption seems to have formed a barrier which kept out the 


waters of the sea, so that the hot spring continued to deposit its car- 
bonate of lime, but without any marine admixture ; thus about two 
feet more were added to the matter Avhich embedded the bottom of 
the column. More volcanic tufa was now placed upon the lime 


deposits either b}' a storm or another eruption, making a total deposit 
of eleven feet. All this time the land had been sinking. The sea 
now surrounded the pillars, which finally sank nine feet more ; thus 
half the height was above the water, and of that which was beneath 
the surface, eleven feet was embedded, and nine exposed to the 
water ; in this space the pillars were perceptibly perforated by a 
bivalve " Lithodomus." Thus if we include the lower pavement, 
the land must have sunk 25 feet since the commencement of the 
Christian era. When the upheaval Ijegan, it has not been observed, 
but it was known to be in progress in 1530, and in 1838 the pavement 
was a^ain above the sea level. The downward movement has a^ain 
commenced, at the rate of about one inch annually. Here then we 
have evidence of a structure which has undergone a subsidence and 
an upheaval of at least 20 feet, and still stands to attest the quietness 
and regularity of the movement. Although this subject of the al- 
teratioii of level of the earth's surface is a difficult one to prove, froin 
the peculiar circumstances of the case, yet, we may safely infer that 
this oscillation is more general than is commonly supposed; and may 
fairly be brought to account for the depression and upheaval neces- 
sary for bringing the aqueous rocks to form the surface of continents. 
For the reader may remember that the rocks which underlie a great 
part of the dry land, as well as most of those found in the formation 
of loftj" mountams, furnish unmistakable evidence of their having 
grown beneath the water. This too will partly account for the fact 
of b}- far the greatest part of the fossilized plants and animals which 
have been found being of aquatic origin. In no other part of the 
world, we believe, has the subject of geology been more pursued than 
in the island of Eritain. and as this island is so extremely small in 
propoition to the great extent of the globe, and as only small portions 
of it too have been geologically examined, it is the more surprising 
that such a great number of fossil animals and plants, and other 
interesting fossils, have been discovered there. "We would add a 
list of the fossil plants and animals which have until recently been 
discovered in all parts of the globe to show the proportion which 
they bear in respect to kind to those now existing, but for the fact 
that these proportions are continually varying b}' means of the dis- 
covery of more fossils, and some new living species. 

To throw a little light upon this subject, however, we may give 
some idea, as comparative, of the fossil animals with those now exist- 
ing. The animal kingdom is subdivided so far as is know into about 
120 orders. Xow, how many of these orders are extinct? that is, 
how manv of these orders of animals have lived in former ages, but 
have at present no living representatives ? Among the mammalia 


and birds there are none extinct. But when we come to reptiles out 
of the eight orders that are made out as belonging to the past and 
present, one half are extinct. The pterodactyle, icthiosaurus, and 
plesiosaurus give some idea of those gigantic animals. Of the Am- 
phibia there is one extinct order, the Labyrinthodonts, a large 
salamander-like beast. No order of fishes is known to be extinct; 
all the fishes found in the strata examined are identified and placed 
in one of the existing orders. There is not known to be a single order 
of insects extinct. There are only two orders extinct among the 
Crustacea. There is not known to be an extinct order of the para- 
sitie and other worms, but there are two or three extinct orders of the 
class Echinodermata. Out of all the orders of the Celenterata and 
Badiata, only one is extinct, the Rugose Corals, so that summing up 
all the orders of animals, not more than about ten per cent, are with- 
out representatives now existing ; and the proportion of extinct 
orders of plants is much smaller. This fact is astonishing consider- 
ing the enormous lapse of time which these animals and plants rep- 
resent. From the Cambrian formation to the present, there is 
reckoned by some geologists to have intervened a period of not less 
than sixty millions of years ; other geologists, however, consider that 
estimate as too small. 

Geologists remark that the remains of man are mostly found in 
the alluvial deposits of rivers and lakes. These deposits contain also 
skeletons of land animals together with fresh water shells, intermixed 
with silt and vegetable drift carried down by the rivers. The reason 
they are found in such places rather than in others is, first, that man 
must have always occupied the regions of the land as a residence ; 
and the remains of human beings found in such places are doubtless 
for the most part of those who have been drowned in the waters of 
the lakes, or in the rivers, aad washed down with the debris which 
rivers usually carry to their mouths. We have ourself seen in an 
alluvial deposit in the State of New York, a fossilized man of such 
dimensions that, when living, he must have measured about eleven 
feet in height, and was made in proportion. We had the opportunity 
of closely examining this fossil and it appeared to have once been a 
noble specimen,of human kind, and not to have belonged to any of 
the tribes now inhabiting this continent. Its antiquity, as indicated 
by its appearance, and the place in which it was found, must have 
been very great. Secondly, according to the evidence of geology 
and history, mankind has always been accustomed to dispose of his 
dead by burial and otherwise. But, besides the remains of human 
beings which have been discovered, many indications of tlieir exist- 
ence are brought to light in the form of warlike instruments, etc. 


These are in the shape of knives, arrow and spear heads, hatchets 
and hatnmers, which indicate that the state of civilization of those 
using them was not high. The material and workmanship of these 
tools are considered by geologists to have marked the successive 
periods and the successive stages of civilization through Avhich man 
has passed. But it is evident that in any period of the past, as at 
present, some tribes and nations may have been more civilized and 
ingenious than others, and that while one tribe used instruments 
of one material, and of good workmanship, another may have used 
instruments of another material and of better workmanship. There 
are found instruments of stone, of bronze (an alloy of tin and copper) 
and of iron ; and the ages in which they are said to have been used 
are termed respectively the stone age, the bronze age, and the iron 
age. In the stone instruments there is a variety displayed indicat- 
ing a less 01- a greater degree of ingenuity or tact in their making. 
Some of them are made of flint seemingly chipped into the required 
shape by hand. The regularity and proportion displayed in these 
arrow and spear heads are often remarkable. Although it may 
appear strange, it is said that the flint chips more easily when chipped 
with another flint, than if an iron tool be used ; so that we need not 
be surprised at the clever specimens of stone handicraft, preserved 
for us in these deposits, and formed by men who, like the North 
American Indians of the past, were not acquainted Avith the use of 
iron. Some of these flint instruments appear as if they had been 
subjected to a process of grinding, and consequently exhibit more 
skilful workmanship. An ancient people who fabricated these in- 
struments lived in the Northern part of France, and in the South of 
Britain. In the river gravels of Abbeville and Amiens in France, 
M. Boucher de Perthes found in 1847 many specimens of their handi- 
work. These beds of gravel vary in their depth to the present bot- 
tom of the valley from 20 to 200 feet. This depth indicates the 
amount of scooping work the river has done since these ancient 
people occupied its banks. These tools are usualty bleached by long 
exposure to the air, or they are stained with the same yellow tinge 
which pervades the gravel bank, and sometimes crystalline incrus- 
tations of carbonate of lime appear upon their surfacd Their edges 
are blunted either by Avear or by the rolling action of the water, and 
they are usually found at depths of from fifteen to twenty feet from 
the surface. The fact that the Somme river has worn away more 
than 200 feet of valley since the people of this stone age inhabited 
its banks may impress us with some notion of the time which has 
elapsed since that very remote period ; yet the position in which 
similar instruments are found in the South of England, carries our 


minds still further back into the past. On the tops of the hills in 
South Hampshire, and in the North of the Isle of Wight, masses of 
gravel are found. These detached beds are believed to be the remnants 
of a great deposit of drift resting upon the Eocene Tertiary Strata. 
In this gravel are blocks of sandstone, some twenty feet in circum- 
ference, and to account for their presence at some distance from their 
native beds geologists have recourse to the agency of the glaciers. 
It is in this gravel that numerous specimens of stone tools, precisely 
similar to those of the Somme valley, have been found. If the theory 
of the glacier agency with respect to these rocks be true (and it does 
not seem altogether improbable when we consider that glaciers of 
great extent exist in the Alpine districts in the centre of Europe at 
present), then, when these ancient people inhabited Britain it was 
amid the ice and snow of the Arctic regions, or, at least, in the prox- 
imity of glaciers and ice fields. And since the time of their existence 
the Southampton river, the Avon, and the Stour have begun their 
course and gradually worn for themselves their present valleys. And 
probably the Isle of Wight was then part of the mainland ; whether 
or not the Strait of Dover then existed may be guessed or known. 
But not only have they passed away, but many of the animals then 
existing are now extinct. The bones of the mammoth, the woollj^- 
haired rhinoceros, the reindeer and the Norwegian lemming, all are 
associated with the flint instruments. These animals have all au 
Arctic relation, and. the two first have been known alive in historical 
times. The first of these is simply a large kind of elephant, and the 
lemming is of the rat species. In the valley of the Somme the 
hippopotamus and the musk-ox are also found, indicating a somewhat 
more genial climate. The reason why the remains of men are not in 
general found associated with these instruments, is, as will appear 
more clearly from information hereafter to be given, that mankind 
has always been accustomed to bury their dead in detached places, 
or to burn them. 

For a long time geologists refused to entertain the idea that man- 
kind was co-ejristing with the mammoth ; but now all doubt upon 
this subject too has been removed, for even in the scanty researches 
thus far more than 3000 flint instruments belonging to the ancient 
stone age have been discovered in Europe. Throughout the whole 
of Scandinavia (Sweden and Norway), although quantities of flint 
instruments are found, none of them are of the rude stone type found 
in the South of England, and in France ; but all are ground and 
better shaped. This may indicate that they were of a later age than 
the stone weapons, or of the same or even an earlier age, and made and 
used by a more ingenious and civilized race of men. The thought 


will probably strike one, was not Scandinavia in these early times 
covered with ice, and how could it then be inhabited ? An equal 
and an equally forcible consideration is this — that Denmark was 
certainly inhabited by the men of the stone period ; and if this being 
in such close proximity to the Scandinavian Peninsula, was inhabited 
why should not the latter have been? Doubtless the Scandinavian 
geologists have given considerable attention to this subject and under- 
stand it. 

Along the coasts of the Danish islands are mounds from three to 
ten feet high, and some of them as many as 1000 feet long. These 
mounds are termed kitchen middens, being found to contain some 
shells of mollusks, etc., upon which the people lived. Being in close 
proximity to their dwellings it is natural they should contain many 
remnants of their mode of life ; burnt bones of the animals they 
cooked, their stone knives, spears, etc. Sometimes bone and horn 
instruments are found in great numbers. The animals with which 
they were associated are still living in Europe, excepting the beaver. 
The dog alone, however, seems to have been domesticated by them. 
These facts, and fj-agments of rude pottery that are found, go to 
prove them to have been j)artially civilized. 

These ancient people have reminiscences of their existence pre- 
served to us in peat-bogs, and in Denmark successive stages of civil- 
ization are observed. In the lower beds of peat, stone weapons occur 
side by side with the roots of the Scottish pine, a tree Avhich has never 
been known in Denmark in historical times. Higher up in the same 
bronze instruments are found ; but here the pine has become extinct 
and the oak takes its place. Still nearer the surface iron instruments 
are found ; but during the bronze period the oak growth waxed and 
waned, the next the beech tree Avhich now flourishes in Denmark oc- 
cupied the countr3^ Let the long periods which it must take for 
successive generations of forest trees to wear themselves out tell the 
years which measure these ages of stone, and bronze, and iron. 

An interesting and singular repository of these ancient relics has 
lately been discovered in Switzerland. It seems that it was the cus- 
tom of the ancient inhabitants of the Swiss valleys to construct their 
villages on piles, driven into the bottom of the lakes, where the water 
was not more than fifteen feet deep. No fewer than one hundred 
and fifty of these lake villages, have been already discovered. Being 
surrounded with water the inhabitants were secure from the attacks 
of wild beasts, and in some measure from their human enemies. By 
dredging in the ooze great numbers of articles have been found. 
Some villages are characterized as of the stone age, others of the 
bronze, and others again give evidence of having been inhabited by 


people who used both the stone and bronze instruments. Among 
other things taken up from the villages characterized as of the stone 
ao"e are charred corn, and bread. This proves that the people of that 
very ancient period cultivated corn. No corn has been discovered 
in the villao-es where the bronze instruments have been found, but 
the vessels occasionally bear the marks of the potter's wheel. Nume- 
rous animals were domesticated, and gold, amber, and glass were 
used for ornaments. From the size of the sword-handles and the 
bracelets it is concluded that the people denominated as of the stone 
age were smaller than the present inhabitants of Northern Europe. 

With respect to the disposition made of the dead the evidence is 
as follows : During the age of the stone weapons the mode of burial 
seems to have been in rude coffins of undressed stone. The skull 
is remarkably round and small, and this type is now most nearly 
approached in the Laplander. It is suggested that he may be the 
descendant of the men of the stone age, his ancestors having followed 
the ice northward. During the age of the bronze weapons the fashion 
of burial changed; or, perhaps, we may say with equal propriety that 
the men characterized as of the bronze weapons disposed of their 
dead differently. No human remains understood to have belonged 
to that period have been found ; they burned their dead. When the 
age of iron came they again resorted to sepulchral burial, and now 
the skull appears larger and longer. The floors of caves have proved 
the richest storehouses of human remains ; but owing to the fact that 
the cave may have been used as a burial place in comparatively re- 
cent times, it does not necessarily follow that human remains lying 
side by side with the bones of extinct animals belonged to human 
beings that lived contemporaneously with these animals. Out of the 
numerous fragments of skeletons which from time to time have been 
brought forth from such places Professor Duncan concludes that the 
lower jaw found in the cave of La Nautelle, the skull from the 
Engis cave, and the jaw of the Grotto des Fees are " the only exam- 
ples of human bones which can bear criticism, and which can be re- 
ferred to the mammoth aoe." 

As we may have before intimated, the stone, bronze and iron in- 
struments may have been used by the same nations and tribes for 
long successive ages, and may indicate the advances they made in 
civilization and art, or may have been used contemporaneously by 
different tribes and nations of different or the same degrees of 
civilization and art. The finding of the stone, bronze, and iron in 
successive strata, as in Denmark or in an}^ other place where a suffi- 
ciently extensive search had been made, might ap])ear to substantiate 
the first supposition ; but the finding of these different kinds of in- 


struments in neighboring villages or in the same village, would indi- 
cate that the second supposition might be equally true. The Au- 
gustan age in Europe, characterized by a certain kind of arms and 
arts, may have been characterized by very different kinds of arms 
and arts in China, which it undoubtedly was. Also, the ao'es of the 
bow and arrow in Europe and Asia were different from the modern 
age of artillery ; and the tribes of Indians or other tribes Avho use the 
bow and arrow contemporaneously with the use of artillery by their 
white neighbors, may differ somewhat in point of civilization and art 
from the whites ; or there may be tribes on the earth who might be 
considered as equally advanced in many respects in regard to civiliza- 
tion with the whites who still use bows and arrows. And even 
neighboring as well as distant tribes in prehistoric times may have 
differed in like manner, doubtless did. Each nation had then its own 
language, and differed from its neighbor in arts and characteristics 
even more than the nations differ now. We are to remember that 
the facts here adduced as to the discovery of human remains or of 
instruments indicating the existence of human beings in those very 
ancient times refer to Europe alone, and only to a small portion of 
that. But we have ocular evidence in the numerous tumuli of the 
Western States of the existence of men on the American continent in 
past ages, men who as we have been informed by a man of sound judg- 
ment Avho had inspected some of the remains, and handled some of the 
limbs, averaged 10 to 12feethigh (some of them much higher) and were 
made in proportion. The fact evidences as strong as anything can 
that different races of men have existed on this continent in past ages 
and have passed away in succession ; men, some of whom were 
in point of size to the men of the present day, white, black, or red, 
as the huge mammoth or mastodon would be to the elephant. The 
Avhole continent of America has been peopled in some of the past 
ages by these gigantic races. We have mentioned in another place 
the liuge fossil man we inspected in Western New York, which was 
casually happened upon by a man digging a trench on his own farm. 
And we have been since told by a clergyman, Avho resides on the 
eastern side of Lake Ei-ie, that he had reason to believe that such 
huge fossils are not uncommon in the district in which he liA^es ; for 
that, when in Elgin county, in Canada, he handled a skull of one of 
these ancient giants, whose remains had been casually found in the 
neighborhood, and that whea through curiosity to find how his head 
compared with it in size he inserted his head into the cavity of the 
mammoth skull, there was still more than enough of room left on 
each side for him to insert his two hands between the skull and his 


The whole continent of America presents innumerable evidences 
of an extinct civilization. These are of various kinds, including 
mounds, tumuli, fortifications of large proportions, gardens, wells, 
artificial meadows, ruins of towns and cities once wealthy and 
2)opulous, which all, with many other monuments are to be found 
scattered throughout the continent, especially from the 48th or oOth 
parallel on the north to about the same latitude on the South of the 
Equator. The valleys of the Mississippi and the Ohio abound in an- 
cient mounds, tunuili, extensive fortifications, and traces of wells, 
salt mines, and artificial meadows which speak unmistakeably of a 
long period of time during which a numerous and powerful people 
of settled agricultural habits had made such considerable progress in 
civilization as to require large temples for their religious worship 
and extensive fortifications to protect them from their enemies. On 
the banks of the Blue river, the Black river and the St. Charles, 
near the river Gila, and upon an alluvial soil which reposes upon 
basaltic rocks, the remains of ancient colonies are very numerous. 
Rows and piles of stones show the plan of houses, though nearly 
covered up by the accumulated soil of ages. Here is seen a ruined 
circular stone wall about 250 yards in circumference with an entrance 
on the eastern side, and containing in its centre the ruins of a 
dwelling in which no traces of wood exist ; three quarters of a mile 
distant the soil is strewn with enormous remnants of spacious edifices 
which contained rooms fifteen feet square. In most of these, frag- 
ments of painted pottery have been found and traces of decaying 
cedar wood. These houses are surrounded by a rampart 300 yards 
in length. One writer observes in speaking of this locality : " Sub- 
terranean fires appear to have ruined all this country and converted 
it into a barren waste; the country may also have been deserted in ^ 
consequence of volcanic convulsions spreading death and misery 
among the inhabitants." Judging from the walls, houses, and 
remains of pottery met at every step, all this region of country seems 
to have been very populous in past ages. In the Apache territory 
near the Rio Grande is a copper mine Avhich shows distinct traces of 
ancient working. A little to the East of this an ancient fort of 
a square shape is erected with a tower at each corner. The walls 
are four feet thick a.nd in a state of some preservation. The banks 
of the Rio Verde abound in ruins of stone dwellings and fortifications 
which appear to have belonged to a more civilized people than the • 
Aztecs. They are found in the most fertile valleys, where traces of 
former cultivation and of small canals for artificial irrigation are yet 
visible. The firmly built walls of these dwellings are twenty and 
thirty yards long to thirty or fortj-five feet high, and from four feet 


thick at the base gradually taper to the top. The houses were four 
storied, with small openings for doors, windows, and loopholes for 
defence against outside attacks. Excavations around these majestic 
ruins have yielded abundant fragments of beautiful pottery, black, 
yellow, red, striped and scalloped and ornamented with brilliantly 
colored paintings. Of the ruins in New Mexico the most modern are 
the pueblos or stone dwellings ; they comprised usually a main portion 
and two receding wings at right angles to the main part, from the 
extremities of which extended a circular wall enclosing a large yard 
or court. They had the appearance of an immense bari'acks, being 
of four stories high, each receding from the preceding one like a 
series of terraces rising one above another. The outside wall had no 
openings in the first or lower stories, and each story was reached 
from the court or yard by ladders which could be drawn up after the 
inmates, thus giving no opportunity for the enemy to enter. The 
minor details of these structures indicate much ingenuity and art. 
Some of them appear in the distance like splendid mosaic work, being 
constructed of stones of various colors. They are built of small fiat 
slabs, in some cases of fine granite sandstone, a material never used 
in any of the modern monuments of Mexico ; and the walls show no 
trace of cement, the intervals being neatly filled up with small 
colored pebbles incrusted in mortar made without lime. Remains of 
ancient towns are extremely numerous in the country of the Zunis, 
the Navagos, and Jemez. All these towns are so ancient that no 
Indian tradition makes any mention of them. Humboldt, speaking 
of these remains of the unknown past, in which may be included the 
ruins of populous cities possessed of much grandeur, the amazing 
sio-ns of mechanical and architectural science which are manifest in 
the consti-uction of the palaces of Tezcotzinco, the temple of Xochi- 
calco, and the colossal stone calendar of Mexico, says : " Certain it 
is that they are the work of a great people, of an intelligent nation, 
whose civilization was far superior to that of the actual tribes." 
These ancients seem to have possessed a knowledge of astronomy, as 
all their structures had either four entrances or four corners or towers 
answering to the four cardinal points. Among the basses Grandes 
are met numerous ruins, among which is a tumulus surrounded b}^ 
an earthen wall 100 yards in circumference. A little from this is a 
large round terrace 100 yards by 70, supporting a pyramid 30 feet in 
height by 25 yards at its summit, commanding a view of a plain 
extending north, east and west, on the left bank of the Gila. The 
Pimas Indians have a legend concerning these ruins which runs 
thus : They pretend that these edifices were constructed by the son 
of the most beautiful woman that ever existed and who formerly 


lived in the neighboring mountains. Her extreme beauty caused 
her to be beloved by a multitude of suitors ; but she refused to 
marry ; w^hen they visited her they paid her tribute, and by means 
of this resource she provided for the people during times of famine 
without provisions ever failing. At length one day she fell asleep, 
and from a dew-drop descending and falling upon her bosom she 
conceived and gave birth to a son who built these houses and many 
others to the north and south-west. Among all these ruins are found 
beads and painted pottery, and perforated shells which antiquarians 
believe were used as coins or ornaments. 

The valleys of the Ohio and Mississippi are rich in monuments of 
various kinds, dating from a period long anterior to the historical 
era. In Ohio alone, the number of ancient mounds, wells, etc., has 
been estimated at ten thousand. The American mounds have been 
divided by antiquarians, as follows : altars, tombs, temples, and 
tumuli of no determinate character. Out of one hundred examined, 
sixty had served as temples, twenty as toml)s, and the rest were 
places of observation, or mounds, the uses of which coidd not be 
determined. Their plans and construction differ according to the 
situation. In the vicinity of the great lakes, and in the States of 
Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan, and the western territories, they are 
made of earth, of conical form or in the shape of animals, birds and 
reptiles, or even in that of man ; appearing like immense JSassi 
Relievi carved out on the soil by the hands of giants. In the interior 
of these monuments relics of art have been discovered belonging to 
a very ancient period, and consisting of personal ornaments, domestic 
utensils, and articles connected with religious worship, made of 
different metals and of Pietra dura, also polished stone and copper 

In the Ohio valley these earthworks are larger, more numerous, 
and of a more regular construction, in many instances surrounded by 
earthworks or strong walls ; and give the best indication, from their 
number and style, of the greatness, or at least the multitude and 
superiority of the populations by which they were constructed. 
Advancing southward these antiquities are remarkable for the great 
regularity of their structure and their extraordinary size, and in 
these southern parts only have traces of brickwork been detected in 
their construction. In Florida and Texas these mounds are com- 
posed of several stories, somewhat resembling a Mexican Teocallis in 
their pyramidal form, dimensions, lofty passages, spacious terraces, 
and long avenues ; they are often surrounded by smaller ones placed 
at regular intervals, some with paths winding round them from the 


base to the summit ; others have gigantic steps, like slips in European 

Enclosures are rare in Florida, but those of a military character 
have been discovered in the Carolinas. Of the courts or amphitheatres 
that existed in the far South, the jjurpose seems to have been that of 
places for public amusement, as in the amphitheatres at Rome. The 
tetragonal terraces are apparently foundations for elevated fortifica- 
tions, while the pyramidal hillocks are supposed to have served as 
observatoiies commanding a view of a wide extent of country. In 
Florida, frequent vestiges of extensive roads are m-et with, some 
running in a straight line for sixty to seventy-five miles. These high- 
ways were elevated above the surrounding plains, and appear to have 
led to the great centres of population, traces of which still exist. 
After traversing ruins of towns and villages they terminated at the 
foot of one of those artificial teocalli, or high dwellings of the chiefs- 
Few American curiosities are more striking to tlie imagination than 
these great roads, and the magnificent scale on wliich they were 
constructed brings to the mind the great roads made b}' the Roman 
government through the j^rovinces of the empire. The elevated 
structures, or mounds of Florida, were usually square-shaped, sloping 
on one side to the road, or reached by a series of wide steps leading 
to the summit of the monument. The Indian population, whom 
Columbus found here, had no knowledge of the origin or uses of 
these structures, which were covered equally with the surrounding 
country by forests of gigantic growth. We might mention also the 
immense gardens, of unknown origin, found scattered over various 
parts of the American continent, whose size and state of preservation 
has produced, in the minds of observers, much astonishment. This 
perfect preservation is thought to be owing to the thick coats of 
prairie grass, which is so dense and abundant as to form a compact 
vegetable coating on the surface of the soil. This enables all their 
sinuosities to be easily traced, and has prevented their surface being 
overgrown with forest, as obtains in other ruins. They are square, 
or semi-circular, and are divided in parallel lines so as to form a 
series of ridges or beds, two or three yards in width, and are separated 
from each other by a number of very narrow paths. One of them is 
described by Domeneck, as above eight miles in extent. No light 
has been thrown upon the nature of the produce of these extensive 
fields laid out with so much regularity. The finest and best preserved 
have been found in Indiana, Michigan, the Western territories and 
Texas. Besides these gardens, artificial meadows, many of which 
were found situated on the borders of wood land or in the midst of 
forests, were also cultivated by the agricultural population which 


iiiliabited the western world previous to the tribes now existing. 
From the nature of the country, the configuration of the surface, as 
well as the agricultural implements of stone and brass found in those 
meadows, it is believed that in remote times these regions were 
covered with trees which must have been burned or torn up to make 
room for pasturage, etc., in the vicinity of human habitations. There 
are many traces which make it appear probable that the ancient 
inhabitants of the country worked the salt water springs in order to 
prociire salt. These traces appear in Illinois, where, in a salt mine, 
there existed an excavation one hundred and thirty-five yards in cir- 
cumfei*ence, in the middle of which a great pit had been dug at some 
unknown period. A conduit also existed by which it is supposed 
the water was drained off. In Ohio the salt mines give evidence of 
having been worked, the ancient remains of vases used in the evapor- 
ation of water having been found near the mines. In the saltpetre 
cave of Missouri hammers and axes similar to those found in the 
tumuli have been discovered. In the Lake Superioi- region are 
copper mines which bear unmistakeable traces of ancient mining. 
It appears that the ancients made use of tools of tempered copper, 
specimens of which have been found in the mines, as also evidences 
of the use of fire. The marks of such tools are traceable on the 
native copper. 

Fortifications of a singularly strategical character and of immense 
proportions, have been found existing in the vicinity of the Ohio and 
Mississippi rivers. With leference to these it has been said that, 
"of all the great works left by the ancient American nations, none 
are more extraordinary or more worthy of study than those colossal 
fortifications and vast entrenched camps protecting and surrounding 
spaces so very considerable that of necessitj^ they must have been 
the work of a large population." The epoch at which these were 
constructed is, of course, quite unknown, but it is evident that they 
must have been coeval with the most ancient mounds or tumuli, since 
they are often placed within, or in the immediate neighborhood of, 
the fortifications, and in many cases form part of the general plan of 

These fortifications are found to consist sometimes of earthworks 
thrown up in the form of an extensive entrenched camp, or in the 
stone walls which have been thrown across peninsulas formed hj the 
conflux of two rivers, and around the declivities of elevated terraces; 
while in all cases it is observable that a careful choice had been made 
of the most suitable position, of which every advantage has been 
taken to construct defensive fortifications on a surprisingly gigantic 
scale. On the delta formed between the Raccoon and Newark rivers 



in the county of Licking, Ohio, there exists an elevated table-land 
about 35 feet in height upon which are remains of military construc- 
tions of great extent. On the west side of the platform stood an oc- 
tagonal fort enclosing an area of about forty acres, having stone walls 
of solid masonry about nine feet in height, and the same in width at 
the base, each protected by a tumulus placed in the interior in front 
of the entrance. Two parallel walls lead to another circular fort at 
the southwest of the first, covering a space of 22 acres ; further south 
is an elevated hillock or observatory which commands a view of the 
whole position, beneath which a secret passage leads to the opposite 
side of the river. A third fort of a circular form stands more to the 
right, enclosing about 62 acres ; there was an interior ditch in this, 
out of which earth had been taken to assist in the formation of a 
wall, which ranged from 25 to 30 feet high. Two other parallel walls 
run towards the north, gradually converging to another fort of quad- 
rangular form, enclosing an extent of about twenty acres. These 
four different forts are connected by rather low walls, and in the 
centre of the enclosed area is a shallow pond covering 150 to 200 
acres, supposed to be artificial, and to have been required to afford 
water to the people and animals inhabiting the place ; towers of ob- 
servation placed at each of the salient points complete the works at 
this point. At Marietta, near the mouth of the Muskingum, some 
extraordinary ruins exist, among which are two square forts, the 
largest covering forty acres ; these have earth walls from three to six 
feet hi^h, and widest at the base ; sixteen openings exist at regular 
intervals ; at one side is a covered way formed by walls which are 
said to be 21 feet high, and 120 feet in length leading down to the 
river by a gentle slope. On the valley of the Paint Creek, near 
Chilicothe, is to be seen one of the most interesting of these fortifica- 
tions; it is situated on a hill 300 feet high, and 130 acres in extent. 
The ascent is very steep and is accessible only on one side; a stone 
wall extends round this plateau of elevated ground. It is said that 
no engineer could have selected a more strategical position. On the 
little Miami and its tributaries, and in Ohio, several of these strong- 
holds are said to have existed, in which the Avails were disposed in a 
parallel manner. But enough has been said to show that the 
strongholds erected by these ancients were not of the meaner sort, — 
the earthworks seemed to be possessed of the greatest durability : 
for they have been protected by a growth of forest or thick grass, 
while the stone structures have tumbled in most cases to a mass of 
ruins only intelligible to the penetrating glance of the antiquarian. 
The Indians know nothing about the origin of these structures, nor 
about the people by whom the}^ were erected : but they hold them 


in traditional veneration. The tumuli are massive and pyramidal in 
form and some contain a vault within which are laid the remains of 
the dead ; these vaults are usually built of stones placed one above 
another, without any cement, sometimes of wood, or of both combined. 
The mounds are of various dimensions, from three to ninety feet in 
hei"-ht, and from 100 to 700 feet in circumference at the base. In 
the top there exist altars of baked clay or stone in the shape of large 
basins, varying from 19 inches to 17 yards in length ; but the average 
is from 2 to 3 yards. A number of these were examined by Messrs. 
Squire and Davis and were usually found to contain ashes and 
remains of calcined human bones, with sometimes a few ornaments ; 
this leads to the belief that the ancient Americans sometimes burned 
their dead. In the larger burial mounds the vaulted chamber usually 
contains a raised pedestal or altar, upon which is laid the human 
remains. These skeletons are ordinarily covered with sheets of mica, 
and carefully placed around them are found ornaments and utensils 
of various descriptions. One was discovered in Utah in which a 
polished silver breast-plate lay upon the skeleton ; at each side of his 
head lay what appeared to have been two tapers extending upwards, 
while between the feet was found an earthen vessel of remote anti- 
quity. Some of the vaults have a stone pavement floor while others 
are vaulted and floored with what appears to have been a species of 
brick or fire clay. In the Southern States, funeral urns have often 
been found within tumuli of this kind ; also beds of charcoal, from 
which it is inferred that fire was used in their funeral rites. In 
these monuments also have been discovered ornaments of silver, 
brass, stone or bone, and ornamental beads made of shells ; also 
pieces of silex, quartz, garnet, and obsidian, points of arrows, copper 
tools, marine shells, sculptures of human heads or of different animals, 
fragments of beautiful pottery, ornamented w^ith brilliantly colored 
paintings of butterflies, quadrupeds and other things, indicating a 
knowledge of art. 

Very valuable discoveries of this kind have been made in New 
Granada, where arms, idols, and medals were found enclosed in tombs 
of people whose successors have disappeared for many centuries, and 
whose enormous wealth is reported by tradition. The archaeologists 
of Panama declare these works of art to belong to very remote anti- 
quity, and consider them to possess characteristics of both Chinese 
and Egyptian art. 

Domenech describes enclosures made of earth of about 300 yards 
in circumference and having but one entrance, situated on low flats 
of circular, elliptical, or quadrangular form, but in all cases of regular 
shape. Aside from these there are a multitude of small circles about 


fifty yards in circumference, near which are grouped mounds that 
appear to have served as altars. The large circles extend over a 
surface of fifty acres, and are connected with rectangular enclosures 
by means of broad avenues. These walls are all made of earth. The 
religious feelings which actuated the authors of these immense struc- 
tures, it is thought, can alone account for their erection. The Abbe 
Domenech, wiites of them in these words : " If religion were out of 
the question it would be difiicult to account for the object of works 
like those of Newark, which extend with their avenues over a space 
of more than four square miles, and to which only the great temples 
of Abury and Stonehenge in England, and Cornac in Britanny can 
be compared." 

As to the probable age of these ruins we may observe that in the 
valleys of the Mississippi and Ohio, where the tumuli and ancient 
fortifications are found in the greatest numbers, trees of enormous 
dimensions have grown upon them, the age of which form the surest 
data on which to form a judgment as to the period when these 
different structures were abandoned. In 1787, Dr. Cutler found 
trees of immense size in the ruins of Marietta. Many of those cut 
down were hollow, but one in which decay had only just commenced 
showed 463 concentric rings : and as naturalists have conceded a 
year's growth to each ring this tree must have existed more than that 
number of years. On the ground lay huge decayed trunks measuring 
six yards in circumference ; he then concludes that as these were not 
the first trees to grow on these ruins, they must have been abandoned, 
nine hundred or a thousand years ago. Sir Charles Lyell relates that 
on the the same spot he, in company with Dr. Hildreth, in 1842, saw 
a tree, which, when sawn asunder, numbered eight hundred rings of 
annual growth. Gen. Harrison, President of the United States, in 
1841, who was well skilled in wood-craft, remarked in a memoir upon 
this subject : " Several generations of trees must have lived and died 
before the mounds could have been overspread with that variety of 
species which they supported when the white man first beheld them, 
for the number and kind of trees were precisely the same as those 
which distinguished the surrounding forest." " We may be sure," 
he observes, " that no trees were allowed to grow so long as the earth- 
en works were in use, and when they were forsaken, the ground, like 
all newly cleared land in Ohio, would for a time be monopolized by 
one or two species of trees, as the white poplar, the hickory, the yellow 
locust, and the black and white walnut. When these had died out, 
one after another, they would, in many cases, be succeeded (b}^ virtue 
of the law which makes rotation in crops profitable in agriculture) 
by other kinds, till at last, after a great number of centuries, several 


thousand years perhaps, that remarkable diversity of species charac- 
teristic of North America, and far exceeding what is seen in European 
forests, would be established." Taking this in connection with the 
opinion of a celebrated naturalist, who assumes that the oak is five 
hundred years in growing, remains five hundred years in statu quo, and 
is another five hundred years in decaying, we get some idea of the great 
antiquity of the American tumuli on which enormous oaks are found 
growing amid the remains of other oaks reduced to dust by extreme 
old age. 

Hieroglyphic inscriptions have also been discovered from time to 
time in the States of Georgia, Kentucky, Minnesota, Ohio, Connec- 
ticut and Rhode Island, while some, remarkably well-preserved, have 
been found in the islands of Lake Erie. The red pipe-stone quarries 
of the meadow hillocks in the Western States conceal numbers, 
while others are met with in New Mexico. The most important 
and significant of these is that of Dighton rock. This rock is situat- 
ed at the East of the mouth of the Taunton river in Manchuctka ; 
the width of the rock is about forty-four feet, and the height in 
use about five feet ; the surface is polished, either by water or 
by the hand of man. It was for a long time covered with moss, 
detritus dindi dirt, so that the inscription was not noticed until the 
middle of the last century, when it became a subject of much interest 
and scientific discussion. The characters entering into the composi- 
tion of this inscription are decided to be hieroglyphic, kyriologic, 
and symbolical, and the strokes, roughly sculptured, appear to have 
been cut in the stone with a cylindrical instrument, the depth of the 
incision being about two lines. It has been attributed by M. Mathieu, 
a French writer, to the Atlantides, about the year of the world 1902 ; 
and Messrs. Yates and Moulton, in their History of New York, say 
it is of Phoenician origin. An inscription of much interest was also 
discovered in Grace Creek tumuli in Western Virginia. It was 
found buried with a skeleton in a mound containing two vaults ; it 
is composed of twenty-two characters in three lines with a cross and 
a mask engraved on a dark, hard stone of an elliptic shape, about two 
and a half inches long, two inches wide, and about five lines 

Learned men who have examined this inscription most carefully, 
neither agree as to its origin nor as to the nature of its characters, of 
which four, it was thought, had a resemblance to the Etruscan signs, 
four to the Thugga (African), five to the ancient Runic in Scandinavia, 
six to the Touarick, seven to the old characters found in Ireland, 
ten to the Phoenician, and fifteen to the Celtiberian, several resem- 
bling more than one kind of character. The divided state of opinion 


as to the relic only proves the uncertainty of its meaning, and causes 
one writer to ask the questions concerning it : Is it a sign, a motto, an 
ornament, or an historical remembrance? 

There is another circumstance which is worthy of mention and is 
thought to be of great historical significance among the evidences of 
past civilization which are found to exist on this continent, namelv, 
the marks of " fountain worship."' The ancient peoples of Mexico 
and Peru have left traces, not only of the Phallic worship and 
its accompaniments, but also of that ancient material worship 
that believed the spiritual essences of things to be manifested in 
the expressions of life around them. Deity was perceived everj-- 
where, and in everything, and thus they worshipped the sun, the 
moon (which they supposed controlled the weather), the stars, the 
earth (which they call their mother, the sun being their father), the 
rivers and fountains. The Zunis, above all, not using artificial 
means to irrigate their fields, and whose crops, therefore, depended 
entirely upon the rain that fell, believe to this day if they neglect 
to make their annual offerings to the spirit of the fountains their 
harvests will be destroyed by drought. Thus in Mexico, Ireland, 
Scotland, as in ancient Carthage, Persia, Chaldsea, India, China, and 
Arabia, holy wells are held in great reverence and veneration by the 
inhabitants, who repair to them every year to make their offerings to 
the spirit of the springs. In the country of the Zuni one of these is 
still found ; it is seven or eight yards in circumference, and 
surrounded by a low, circular wall. Once a year the water is 
withdrawn, when offerings of varnished pottery are placed upon the 
wall, there to remain until they fall by accident or time ; hence 
there are to be seen here specimens of pottery of great antiquity. A 
tradition obtains among them that any one attempting to steal one 
of these offerings would be punished by instantaneous destruction. 
The worship of wells was practised in the East from times of 
the greatest antiquity, not only by the worshippers of Baal, by 
the Scythians, and their descendants, but also by the Chinese, 
Hindoos, Moors, Persians, Arabians, Egyptians, Jews, and Celts 
of Ireland and Scotland, where these objects of the profound 
veneration of the Celtic people were usually situated in the most 
picturesque spots, on the slopes of hills and venerable oaks, 
amidst rocks covered with heaths, in retreats difficult of access, and, 
aboA'e all, in the vicinity of an ancient oak or upright unhewn stone, 
and in dark and mysterious solitudes, where the breezes and 
the brooks murmur incessantly, and where the voice of man finds a 
faithful echo always ready to make nature resound with the songs 
and praises inspired by the piety of the people. In England, it 


is said, the Druids practised this worship, and under the reign 
of Canute and Edgar edicts were promulgated against tliose who 
venerated these sacred wells ; while in the Scandinavian manuscript, 
it is related that in the tenth century, a schism arose among the 
Americans, some of whom were accused of despising the sacred well 
of Vagarscriebat. That a worship so ancient and so general in the 
Eastern Hemisphere as that of the fountains and wells should 
have been found to exist in the Western Hemisphere, may appear to 
be a mark of no small significance. In those times, there were people 
who believed that spirits presided over these fountains and rivers ; 
that these spirits were invisible, and hovered around them, and 
received with pleasure the offerings made to them by mankind either 
as thanksgiving or propitiation. 

Certain idols, shells, pottery and ancient mummies, have been 
found in the mounds and caves of Tennessee, which are thought by 
some writers to point to an Asiatic origin. In reference to these 
remains, the Abb(i Domenech writes: "A knowledge of conchology 
is by no means unimportaut in the study of the origin of the 
first inhabitants of North America, since it appears that they 
employed large marine shells, for their personal use, and for their 
sacrifices." The tumuli found in the valleys of the great rivers 
and the ruins of ancient fortifications contain a great number of 
these shells, which have formed the subject of long discussions 
among ethnographers, who are not agreed as to the locality of their 
origin. The most curious, perhaps, of the idols which have been found 
in these ruins have been found in the State of Tennessee. One of 
these was found enclosed in a small shell of the species Cassis 
Flammea which is of tropical origin, the others are without 
shells and either seated on their heels or kneeling, the hands being 
placed upon tiie thighs or abdomen. They are naked, and represent 
different sexes ; the largest are about four inches in length ; they are 
cut in stone common to the country. One of the professors of 
the University of Tennessee expressed the opinion that all these idols 
were representations of the ancient Phallic worship and were similar 
to those exposed in the temples of Eleusis. 

The existence of American mummies, swathed in the veritable man- 
ner of the ancient Egyptian mummies, excited considerable surprise 
and comment at the time of their discovery. I'he}' happened to be 
discovered only in the neighborhood of large rivers, where vessels 
could easily approach; they evidently belong to a race anterior to 
the red Indian ; and from their discovery, some writers agree 
that the ancient inhabitants of the continent were of Egyptian origin, 
or at least came from the shores of the Mediterranean, while 


Dr. Mitchell endeavored to prove that the ancient inhabitants 
of America were of Malay origin, and resembled the natives of the 
islands of the Polynesia and Australasia. He founded this opinion 
on the resemblance of the cloth in which these mummies Avere 
enveloped to that brought from the Sandwich and Fiji Islands, which 
is similarly made of fine cord doubled and twisted by hand; and again 
on the fact that feather mantles are applied to a similar use by the 
the islanders of the Southern Ocean. It may, however, appear 
strange to men of sober reflection that our modern ethnographers are 
not content to allow the ancient inhabitants of this continent 
to have had an American origin without wearying themselves Avith 
investigating an origin for them on other parts of the earth's surface. 

The mummies were found in great numbers in the Mammoth Cave 
near Louisville in Kentucky. This cave contains a large quantity 
of nitre, and the preservation of these mummies is attributed to its 
presence. Domenech describes one of these, that was found nine 
feet below the surface of the soil ; it was placed between two large 
stones and covered by a flat slab ; the Jinees were drawn up to the 
chest, the arms crossed, and the hands folded the one over the other 
at the height of the chin. The hands, nails, ears, hair, teeth, and all 
the features were in a state of perfect preservation. The skin 
resembled leather of a yellowish color, and no traces of an opening 
in the body could be detected. Though this mummy was of a person 
six feet in height, it was so dried up that it did not weigh more than 
fourteen pounds. This body Avas not surrounded either by bandages 
or by any bituminous or aromatic substance, but was Avrapped in 
four coA'erings. The first or interior one was made of fine cord 
doubled and tAvisted in a peculiar manner, and of large feathers in- 
terwoven with great art ; the second Avrapping Avas of the same 
stuff, but without feathers ; the third consisted of a deer skin with- 
out hair; and the fourth and external covering of another deer skin, 
but with hair. The bodies of a man and woman found in a saltpetre 
caA'e in Warren Count}", Tennessee, are also described by the same 
writer ; these were wrapped in deer skins, and in a cloth made of the 
fibres of the bark of trees and ornamented with feathers; while in 
the hand of the female was a fan composed of turkey's feathers, and 
made to open and shut at pleasure. These relics of past ages haA'e 
greatly occupied the attention of American antiquarians, but the 
race to which they belong, eA'idently anterior to the Indian, is not 
decided. f 

Naturalists haA'e expressed the opinion that the horse is not a 
natiA^e of the American continent ; according to Linnaeus, it is a 
natiA'e of Europe and the East, Avhile Goldsmith makes it to be a 


native of Africa; and yet, when the European first set foot upon this 
continent, vast herds of these animals in a wild state were found roam- 
ing at large over the immense prairies of the West. It has been sug- 
gested that these may be the descendants of the domesticated animals, 
once used by the ancient agricultural population who were the former 
cultivators of the soil. There are also herds of sheep in the north of 
Mexico apparently quite wild. Of these are two varieties, one called 
the " Rocky Mountain Sheep," found inhabiting the elevated regions 
between the 48°th and 60°th parallels of north latitude, and near the 
head waters of the Columbia, the country at the sources of the Marais, 
the Saskatchewan and Arthabaska rivers, but less numerous on the 
eastern than oia the western slope of the Rocky Mountains ; and a 
second bearing the name of the American Argali or Ovis Pygargus, 
believed by some to be identical with the Ovis Ammon of Central 
Asia, Siberia, and Kamschatka. The wild bison^ of which the domestic 
ox is a variety, are also found in large herds, and these, together 
with immense flocks of wild turkeys^ luxuriate at perfect liberty upon 
the rich pastures of the great prairies of the West. 

The turkey was supposed by some to be a native of Peru, South 
America, by others to be a native of the East Indies, or Japan, or 
probably some of the islands of the Indian Ocean, whence it was 
brought to America by the ancient Malayan maritime adventurers. 
We see, however, no good reason why naturalists should seek an 
origin outside of America for any tribe of animals found on this con- 
tinent, when the modern white men first set foot on it; still not at- 
tempting to deny that some of these tribes might have had an origin, 
if we may speak of an oi-igin in some other part of the globe, for it 
cannot be said that there was no intercourse of men between these 
continents in the ages preceding the discovery of America by the 
modern Europeans, Avhich undoubtedly there was. 

Tropical plants and vai'ieties of grasses common to other countries 
are found growing in the Western sections of the continent ; among 
these are the maize and garden bean. 

From the various relics which have been mentioned, and others 
to which we need not here refer, we gather that a great and power- 
ful people, advanced in arts and agriculture, and acquainted with 
the use of metals, held sway over this continent prior to the red 
Indians. Ruins of ancient pueblos, remarkable for their construction 
and immense size, some of Avhich were erected on the opposite sides of 
rivers, and connected t)y bridges, are scattered over the country, 
south of the great prairies of the West. The configuration of the 
surface, the existence of river beds where the water has long since 
ceased to floAV, whose banks, once gay with a tropical verdure, plants, 


flowers and trees, have bow given place to deserts of sand, present- 
ing everywhere a picture of desolation; so that Domenech and 
others who have explored these regions and written upon them, believe 
that, at some indefinite period of the past, this whole territory was 
densely populated by a settled agricultural people, but who by some 
great geological change, perhaps volcanic, taking place in the country, 
changing the soil from a rich and fertile country, well watered, into 
a dry, barren, sandy desert, were compelled to seek a settlement 

Domenech thinks that the great centres of this ancient civilization 
were near the great lakes in Ohio, and in Mexico, and Peru, whither 
the natives repaired to have commercial interchange with each other. 
This he deduces from the discovery of mica sheets from the Alle- 
ghanies, shells from the Gulf of Mexico and Florida, and obsidian 
from the mountains of Mexico, and copper instruments, wdth speci- 
mens of ore, from Lake Superior, which are found buried, together 
with ornaments of silver, brass, stone and bronze, in the ancient 
mounds of Ohio, and whose origin and history seems as impenetrable 
as the night of ages. In the history of the ancient American races 
are recognized in order, by antiquarians, the age of rough stone imple- 
ments, the age of polished stone implements, and the age of copper 
tools. The ages of brass and iron instruments and tools are later, 
and that in which we live. 

Since thei'e exists such multitudinous relics of past civilization 
on this continent, it becomes a matter of interest to enquire whether, 
among the ancient traditions of America, or the records and mj'thol- 
ogies of the Old World, any traces can be discovered of an ac 
quaintance with this continent b}' the people of the other hemisphere. 
Inquirers of the greatest care and intelligence believe that commu- 
nication between the two continents did exist at a very remote 
period. Evidences of this they discover in the ruins to which we 
have referred, and in the traditions of ancient America, as well as in 
the traditions and myths of classical antiquity. The antiquities of 
Mexico and Central America reveal religious devices, symbols, and 
ideas almost identical with those found in all countries of the Old 
"World where communities called Cushite formerly existed. They 
exhibit evidences of the worship of the heavenly bodies, Avith its 
usual Orphic and phallic accompaniments. Humboldt, when visiting 
America, observed these remains of past civilization, and was con- 
vinced that communication between the t-#o continents formerly 
existed. The Abbe Domenech, who traversed the desert wilds of 
America and Mexico, also produced two volumes as the results of 
his discoveries, which abounded with evidences of an extinct civiliza- 


tion. Humboldt found evidences of it in the religious symbols, the 
hieroglyphics, the architecture, and the social customs, made mani- 
fest among the ruins, which he felt sure came from across the seaCs, 
and in his view the date of this communication was older than the 
present division of Asia into Chinese, Mongols, Tartars and Hin- 

The high state of agriculture, mechanical art, commerce, the pro- 
fusion of gold and copper, and the religious views and domestic 
manners which were found to exist among the long since extinct 
Aztec and Zezcucon people found in possession of the Eastern 
Shores of Mexico by the rapacious Spaniards, are indicative of a long 
period of peaceful possession and prosperity in that country, during 
which time they had succeeded in surrounding themselves with every 
imaginable kind of luxury ; and there are traces of a superior civil- 
ization even beyond the Aztecs. They possessed a system of 
numerals, and divided their year into 18 months of 20 days 
each, five complementary days being added, as by the Egyptians, to 
make up the full number of 365 days. They Avere also devoted to 
astrology, and their knowledge of astronomy is truly astonishing. 
They used the sun-dial to mark the day, which was divided into 16 
parts, commencing at sunrise. An immense circular block of carved 
stone, disinhumed in the great square of Mexico, in 1790, has sup- 
plied the means of establishing some interesting facts in regard to 
ancient Mexican science. This colossal fragment, on which the 
calendar is engraved, shows that they had the means of determining 
the hours of the day with precision, the periods of the solstices and 
the equinoxes, and of the transit of the sun across the meridian of 
Mexico. It is hardly possible that a nation so far advanced as the 
Aztecs in mechanical science should not have made considerable 
progress in the mechanical arts. A degree of refinement is, indeed, 
shown by intellectual progress of any kind, requiring, as it does 
a certain cultivation of both useful and elegant art. Agriculture 
was in the same advanced state in Mexico as were the other arts of 
social life. Their chief productions consisted of beans, Indian corn 
or maize, the cacao, from which chocolate is derived, the vanilla, 
used for flavoring their food and drink. The gigantic stalks of the great 
staple, Indian corn, afforded them a saccharine matter which supplied 
the natives with sugar little inferior to that of the cane itself; but 
the most wonderful production of the soil was the great Mexican 
aloe, or Maquey tree, whose clustering pyramids of flowers, tower- 
ing above their dark coronals of leaves, were seen sprinkled over 

* See " Researches couceniiug the institutions and monuments of the ancient people of 


many broad acres of the taVjle-land. Its bruised leaves afforded a 
paste, from AvLich they manufactured paper ; its juice was fermented 
into an intoxicating beverage called pulque^ of which they were ex- 
cessively fond; with its leaves the more humble dwellings were 
thatched; thread, of which coarse stuffs were manufactui-ed, and 
strong cords were made from its tough and twisted fibres; pins and 
needles were made from the thorns on the extremity of its leaves; 
and the root, when subjected to a process of cooking, was converted 
into a palatable and nutritious food; it furnished, in short, meat, 
d)ink, clothing and writing material to the Aztec. A large variety 
of plants, many of them of great medicinal virtue, have been intro- 
duced into Europe from these regions. The Mexican flowers, also, 
are of the most variegated and gaudy colors, and now form the 
greatest attraction of European greenhouses. They Avere well ac- 
quainted with the mineral as well as the vegetable treasures of their 
country. They drew silver, lead, and tin from the mines of Tasco ; 
also copper from the mountains of Zacotollan, taken not only from 
the crude masses on the surface, but also from veins wrought in the 
solid rock, into which they opened extensive galleries. The gold 
which they found on the surface and gleaned from the beds of rivers 
they cast into bars, in which state, or in the form of dust, it made 
part of the regular tribute. Iron existed in the soil, but they knew 
nothing of its uses. They found a substitute in an alloy of tin and 
copper, and with tools made of this bronze they could cut not only 
metals, but it is said, with the aid of siliceous dust, the hardest sub- 
stances, as basalt, porphyry, amethysts and emeralds. They fash- 
ioned these last, which were found very large, into many curious 
and fantastic forms. They also cast vessels of gold and silver, carv- 
ino- them with their metallic chisels in a very delicate manner. 
Some of the silver vases were so large that a man could not encircle 
them with his arms. They imitated with great nicety the figures of 
animals; and. what was extraordinary, could mix the metals in such 
a manner that the feathers of a bird or the scales of a fish should be 
alternately of gold and silver. They used another metal, made of 
obsidian, a transparent mineral, exceedingly hard, found in abundance 
in their mountains, which they manufactured into knives, razors, 
and serrated swords. It was said to take a keen edge, although it 
soon became blunted : and with it they wrought the various stones 
and alabasters used in the construction of their public works and 
principal buildings. These ancient Mexicans made utensils of earth- 
enware for their ordinary purposes of domestic life. They made 
cups and vases of lacquered or painted wood, impervious to wet and 
saudilv colored. Their dves were obtained both from mineral 


and vegetable substances. Among these was the rich cochineal, the 
modern rival of the far famed Tyrian purple ; with this they gave a 
brilliant color to the webs which were manufactured of every degree 
of fineness from the cotton plant, which grew in abundance in the 
southern parts of the country. They also employed the art of inter- 
weaving with these the delicate hair of rabbits and other animals, 
which made a cloth of great warmth, as well as beauty, and of a 
kind altogether peculiar to themselves ; on this they often laid a 
rich embroider}^ of birds, flowers, or other fanciful devices. 

But the art in which they most delighted was the plumage or 
feather work ; and with this they could produce all the effect of a 
beautiful mosaic. The gorgeous plumage of the tropical birds, es- 
pecially of the parrot tribe, afforded them every variety of color ; 
and the fine down of the humming-bird, which revelled in swarms 
among the honeysuckle bowers of Mexico, supplied them with soft 
aerial tints, which gave an exquisite finish to the picture. The 
feathers, pasted on a fine cotton web, were wrought into dresses for 
the wealthy, hangings for apartments, and ornaments for the tem- 
ples. The profusion in which gold existed in Mexico and Peru, and 
the estimation in which it was held by these ancients, was best seen 
in the manner in which it was used in the liberal decoration of their 
temples, " which " one writer says, " shone lesplendent by reason of 
the abundance in which it was used," and for the adornment and 
magnificence of their princes. Their palaces, gardens, fountains, 
and temples exceeded those of ever}^ other portion of the country, a 
detailed account of which is given by Prescott in his reference to 
the golden age of Tezcuco. Translations into the English and 
Spanish languages have been made of ancient manuscripts found in' 
Mexico by the Spaniards at the" time of their conquest of that coun- 
try, one especially contains the advice of an Aztec mother to her 
daughter on the occasion of her marriage, inculcating the precepts 
of monogamy, conjugal fidelity, the idea of a Supreme Being, to 
whom all are responsible, and who sees all our actions. This docu- 
ment also contains an admonition to the bride to persevere in the 
practice of those graces and virtues which had distinguished her 
ancestors ; advice in fact altogether equal to what might be expected 
of a Christian mother at the present day. The Abbe Brasseur de 
Bourbourg shows that the symbols of phallic worship were described 
by Spanish writers at the time of their conquest; that they were 
frequent in the countries of Central America, abounding in Colhua- 
can, a city on the gulf of California, and at Panuco (the former was 
at one time a flourishing city, the capital of an important kingdom); 
here phallic institutions had existed from time immemorial. In the 


temples at Panuco phallic symbols abounded, and also on the public 
monuments. These, with the serpent devices, the sun-worship, the 
remarkable knowledge of astronomy accompanying them, shows a 
system of religion of which the Abbe says: "Asia appears to have 
been its cradle, as that of the social institutions which it conse- 

It is said that the traditions of the inhabitants of Mexico and 
Central America uniforml}- assert that the ancient American civili- 
zation came originally fi-om the east ''across the ocean." The Abbe 
de Bourbourg, speaking of the earliest civilization of the inhabitants 
of these countries, says : the native traditions generally attribute 
it to "bearded white men, who came across the ocean from the east." 
The history of Sahagun also states that, according to the traditions 
of the people of Yucatan, " the original civilizers came in ships from 
the east." Montezuma, it is said, related a similar tradition to the 
Spaniards. There were in Central Ameiica three classes of ancient in- 
habitants, first, the Chichimecs, who seem to have been the uncivilized 
aborigines of the country ; the Colhaas, who were the fiist civilizers, 
and who were the " beai-ded white men " a\ ho came in the early 
times across the Atlantic, and who built Palenque and other cities, 
originated the oldest and finest monuments of the ancient civiliza- 
tion, and established the great kingdom of Kibalba celebrated in 
tradition and history ; it comprised Guatemala, Chiapas, Yucatan, 
and probably other countries. The third class of inhabitants men- 
tioned are the Toltecs, a powerful race, whom Humboldt, stiangely 
enough, supposed to have derived their origin from the Huns, and 
who came much later as peaceable immigrants, but, uniting with the 
uncivilized Chichimecs, caused a civil war and acquired the ascend- 
ency over the land. 

Desiri Charmay, in speaking of the ruins of the ancient city of 
Mitla, points out the most ancient architecture, paintings, mosaics 
and artistic designs as being in the highest style, showing marvellous 
workmanship ; while the later additions are in a much lower style, 
and seem to be the work of a people much less advanced in culture 
and skill than the original founders of the city. The most remark- 
able and finest monuments found in those countries are believed to 
belong to the remains of the ancient kingdom of Kibalba. Other 
traditions point to an existing acquaintance with the country among 
the Chinese and Malays. The Abbe de Bourbourg relates that there 
was a constant tradition among the people who dwelt upon the Pacific 
Coast that people from distant countries across the Pacific formeily 
came to trade at the ports of Coatulco and Pechugui, which belonged 
to the Kingdom of Tehauntepec. Again the traditions of Peru tell 


of people who came to that country by sea and landed on the Pacific 
Coast, thought probably to be the Malays of the great Malayan mari- 
time empire that flourished in ancient days. 

If we now turn to the ancient traditions, mythology, and records 
of the Eastern world, we shall find much that points directly to an 
acquaintance with the " Atlantic," or " continent beyond the sea," 
which either appears to refer to America or to be utterly meaning- 
less, Avhich latter opinion does not seem to be entertained by any 
antiquarians of the present day. In ancient mythology there is 
reference to a great continent beyond the Cronian Sea, meaning the 
Atlantic ; and it was in the Atlantadis of Homer and Horace, 
beyond the western waters, that the ancient poets placed their Ely- 
sian fields. 

Theopompus, a learned historian and celebrated orator who lived 
in the days of Alexander the Great, relates, in his work entitled 
" Thaumasia," a very ancient dialogue which took place between 
Midas, King of Phrygia, and Silenus, in which the latter is made to 
say : " There is a continent beyond the sea, the dimensions of which 
are immense, almost without limit, greater than Asia, Europe and 
Lybia (Africa) together, and so fertile that animals of a prodigious 
size are to be seen there, as likewise a race of men calling themselves 
Meropes, whose stature is much greater than that of ordinary men, 
and who attain to an extreme old age ; that a great many large towns 
and cities were to be found on that continent, one of which con- 
tained above a million of inhaliitants, and having different laws and 
customs from those of the people of Asia, Africa, and Europe ; and, 
finally, that gold and silver were found very common over all the 
surface of that vast continent. Another writer relates that these 
Meropes were so persuaded that there existed no continent but 
their own that out of curiosity alone some of them crossed tlie ocean 
and visited the hyperboreans. Another ancient writer, Diodorus of 
Sicily, in his fifth book, chapter 11, has an important passage con- 
cerning this continent, which is historical, in which he affirms that 
some Phoenicians Avere cast upon the shores of an exceedingly fertile 
island situated opposite to Africa. The passage referred to reads as 
follows : Over against Africa lies a very great island in the vast 
ocean, many days' sail from Lybia westward. The soil is very fruit- 
ful, it is diversified with mountains and pleasant vales, and the 
towns are adorned with stately buildings. Its shores are indented 
with countless navigable rivers ; its fields are well cultivated and 
dotted with delicious gardens and with plants and trees of every 
sort ; finally he describes it as being the most beautiful country 
known, with inhabitants who live in spacious dwellings, possessing 


abundance of every kind. In regard to this the Abbd Domenech 
s&js : The recital made by Diodorus exactly corresponds with that 
of the first Spaniards who landed in Mexico. 

It is related of one Hanno, who lived before the foundation of 
Rome, that he made a voyage beyond the Pillars of Hercules (the 
straits of Gibraltar) and visited a strange coast, which he reached b}- 
keeping due west, after traversing the ocean for thirty days. The 
best authors suppose this coast to have been that of one of the West 
India islands, or of the mainland of America. Homer, Solon, and 
Horace speak of the Atlantides as being islands situated at a distance 
of ten thousand stadia (a stadium is 606| English feet) west of 
Europe and Africa. Aristotle speaks of an island placed beyond the 
Straits of Hercules, in these words : " It is said that the Carthaginians 
have discovered beyond the Pillars of Hercules a very fertile island, 
but Avhich is without inhabitants, j-et full of forests, navigable rivers, 
and abounding in fruit ; it is estimated many days voyage from the 
mainland." Plutarch also has a passage quoted by Humboldt, in 
which mention is made in unmistakable terms of a great transatlantic 
continent, and of a mysterious stranger who came from that distant 
country to Carthage, about 300 B. C, where he lived many years. 
According to Cabrera the first Carthaginian emigration to this West- 
ern Continent took place during the first Punic war. According to 
Sandoval a succession of emigrations came from Ceylon, Java, and 
from Southern India to America, many centuries before Christopher 
Columbus. In support of this statement figures representing the 
god Boudha of Java, seated on a Siva's head, were found at Uxmal, 
in Yucatan. It is well established that a knowledge of the American 
continent existed in China and Japan long before the time of Colum- 
bus. M. de Guigies, relying upon the chronicles preserved in the 
Chinese work, Pran Y tien, attributes the Peruvian civilization to 
emigrations proceeding from China, from Japan, and the East Indies ; 
recent investigations, it is thought, confirm this opinion. M. 
Paravey, in the year 1844, proved that the province of Fu-Sang, de- 
scribed in the Chinese annals, was nothing less than Mexico, known 
to them in the fifth century ; and the Abbe de Bourbourg says, in 
his introduction to the Fopol-Vuh : " It has been known to scholars 
nearly a century that the Chinese were acquainted with the Ameri- 
can continent in the fifth century of our era; their ships visited it; 
they called it Fu-Sang, and said it was situated at the distance of 
20,000 li fabout 7000 miles) from Ta-Han. 

J. Hanl3% the Chinese interpreter at San Francisco, has lately 
written an essay upon this subject, in which he makes the following 
statements, drawn from Chinese historians and geographers : Four- 


teen hundred years ago even America had been discovered by the 
Chinese, and described by them. Tliey stated that land to be about 
20,000 Chinese miles distant from China. About 600 years after 
the birth of Christ, Buddhist priests repaired thither and brought 
back the nev^s that they had met with Buddhist idols and religious 
writings in the country already. Their descriptions in many re- 
spects resemble those of the Spaniards a tliousaiid years after. They 
called the country " Fu-Sang," after a tree which grew there, the 
Maquey tree, whose leaves resemble those of the Ijamboo, whose bark 
the natives made clothes and paper out of, and whose fruit they ate. 
These particulars correspond remarkably with those given by the 
historian Prescott about the Maquey tree in Mexico. The accounts 
given by the Chinese and Spaniards, although a thousand years apart, 
agree in stating that the natives did not possess any iron, but only 
copper ; that they made all their tools for working in stone and 
metals out of copper and tin ; and that they, in comparison with the 
nations of Europe and Asia, thought but little of the worth of silver 
and gold. The religious customs and forms of worshi^D presented the 
same characteristics to the Chinese fourteen hundred years ago. 
There is, moreover, said to be a remarkable resemblance between 
the religion of the Aztecs and the Buddhism of the Chinese, as well 
as between the manners and customs of the Aztecs and those of the 
people of China. It is, hoAvever, remarkable, and may be thought 
confirmatory of the idea of emigration from China to America, at 
some remote period, that at the time that America was discovered 
by the Spaniards the Indian tribes on the coast of the Pacific op- 
posite to China for the most part enjoj'ed a state of culture of ancient 
growth, while the inhabitants of the Atlantic coast were found in a 
state of original barbarism. The stone arrow-heads, lance-heads, 
hatchets and tomahawks found in Europe, India, Japan, and 
America, are so similar to each other that it is often impossible 
to distinguish them by their form. It is remarkable that everywhere 
except in America these weapons are believed by the common people 
to be thunder-bolts. They are called elf-bolts in Scotland ; and 
Pliny speaks of them as Ceraunix ; while in China and Japan the 
same origin is ascribed to them. 

M. Leon de Rosny has ascertained that Fu-Sang is the topic of 
a curious notice in the great Japanese Encyclopedia, which enjoys 
the curious name of the " Wa-kan-san-tai-dron-ye." In that work it 
is said to be situated east of Japan, beyond the ocean, at the distance 
of about 20,000 Chinese miles from Ta-nan-kouek. Great stress is 
laid upon these records of the Chinese and Japanese, as they are 



peoples that do not deal in myths, but in actual facts and historical 

Let us now turn our attention to the Atlantic coasts, and enquire 
into the early communication with this continent by Europeans, 
priof to Columbus. Following the chronological order of events as 
they seem to have transpired here we first refer to the emigration of 
the Ires, or people from Ireland, who came to this continent by way 
of Iceland at rather uncertain eiiochs. The opinion of learned men, 
familiar with the antiquities of the Western world, is that, as in the 
most ancient records of Iceland the first inhabitants of that island 
are called " men come from the west by the sea," so we may con- 
clude that Iceland was not colonized by people coming direct from 
Europe, but by Ires who had returned from America, who at an 
early period had been transplanted, and who returned from Virginia 
and the coast of Carolina (called Great Ireland) to settle in the 
island of Papar and the south-eastern coast of Iceland. In the ancient 
documents preserved in Iceland accounts are given of Christian Papas, 
or fathers who returned from Great Ireland on the. West (America) 
to Iceland, to instruct the Icelanders in the principles of the Chris- 
tian religion, about the year 800 A. D. Accounts are also given of 
persons who, having been cast awa)^ in ships, landed upon a western 
coast called " huitra manna land " or the land of the white men. 
These stories are considered as authentic, and as an important proof 
in favor of the prevailing opinion that at a very earl}' period of the 
Christian era Irish colonies existed on the coast of the Carolinas and 
farther sout£. The Abbe Brasseur de Bourbourg, in a note to his 
translation of the Popol-Vuh, says on this matter there is an abund- 
ance of legends and traditions concerning the passage of the Irish 
into America, and their habitual communication with that continent 
many centuries before Columbus was heard of. 

An Irish saint, named Vigile, who lived in the eighth century, 
was accused by Pope Zachary of having taught heresies on the sub- 
ject of the antipodes.. He at first wrote to the Pope in reply to the 
charge, but afterwards went to Rome to justify himself; and there 
he proved to the Pope that the Irish had long been accustomed to 
communicate A\ith a transatlantic world. These facts are said to be 
preserved in the records of the Vatican. It is now an historical fact 
also that the 'Northmen, sailing from Iceland, not only discovered 
America in the tenth century, but also established colonies on the 
coast of New England, and preserved a communication with these 
colonies for two centuries. In 877, Gunbiorn, the Icelandish navi- 
gator, first saw the mountain sea-board of Greenland. It appears 
from the Scandinavian manuscript, in which are to be found the 


accounts of the Normans' first voyages to America, that in 983 the 
celebrated Ari Marsson, while sailing southward, was cast by a storm 
upon the coast of this continent, which he called Irland it Mikla, or 
Great Ireland. In 986, Eric, surnamed the Red, established on these 
shores the first colony, composed of emigrants from Iceland. After- 
wards, in 1124, a bishopric was instituted here called Garda, which 
existed for upAvards of 300 years. In the year 1000, Lief, the eldest 
son of Eric the Red, sailed with thirty- five companions in search of 
new discoveries, when he discovered Newfoundland, and called it 
Litla Helluland ; re-embarking he arrived in the country situated 
between Newfoundland and Canada, which he called Markland 
(now Labrador) ; pursuing his voyage farther south he landed on an 
agreeable coast, where he found an abundance of vines, which he 
called Vinland (now New England) ; here he made a settlement, 
which flourished for a length of time, and was visited in 1121 by the 
first bishop of Greenland, Eric Upu, of Irish origin, for the purpose 
of confirming the colonists of Vinland in the doctrines of Christianity. 
In the year 1002 another expedition under Thorwald, visited this 
coast and landed at Cape Cod, near Boston, where the leader was 
killed in an encounter Avith the Esquimaux. In the year 1006, 
Thorstein embarked on a similar expedition, but was unsuccessful. 
Thorfin, the most celebrated of the first explorers of America, landed 
in the year 1007 on the island called Martha^ s Vineyard, on the New 
England coast, and spent two winters in the bay of Mount Hope, 
close to Seconnet. From this time to the middle of the fourteenth 
century, very little can be ascertained concerning the Scandinavian 
colonies in America. In the twelfth century, Norwegian colonies 
existed in Greenland. In 1170 the Welsh prince, Madog, was quite 
certain of the existence of America, for, it is said, he sailed aAvay 
Avestward, going south of Ireland, to find a land of refuge from the 
civil AA'ar Avhich Avas raging among his countrymen. The Welsh an- 
nals inform us that he found the land he sought, and having made 
preparations for a settlement, he returned to Wales, secured a larger 
company, that filled ten ships, and then sailed aAvay again and never 
returned. With reference to this Welsh colony Ave may state that 
in 1660, the Rev. Morgan Jones, a Welsh clergyman, seeking to go 
by land from South Carolina to Roanoke, Avas captured by the Tusca- 
rora Indians. He declares that his life Avas spared because he spoke 
Welsh, Avhich some of the Indians understood ; that he Avas able to 
converse Avith them in Welsh; and that he remained Avith them four 
months preaching to them in Welsh. Dr. Williams, in his A\'ork on 
the " Stor}^ of Prince Madog's emigration," published in 1791, ex- 
plained Mr. Jones' statement by assuming that the Welsh colony. 


becoming weakened, had become incorporated with those Indians ; 
and it is Avell known that in early colonial times the Tuscaroras were 
sometimes called "White Indians." It is known that the Northmen 
had colonies in New England long before Prince Madog's colony 
sailed for the Western continent ; and one able writer savs on this 
subject : " It it not so well known, but is nevertheless quite true, 
that they were preceded in Iceland b}^ the Irish, and in vovaoes to 
America by the Irish and Basques; the latter, he says, "were advent- 
urous fishermen, who were accustomed to visit the north-east coast 
of America from time immemorial." Thus it appears that sufficient 
evidence is afforded by ancient European records to warrant us in 
believing that America was not unknown to the ancients, and was 
comparatively well known to Europeans, in the early part of the 
Christian era, centuries before Columbus was heard of or the clas- 
sical nations thought of changing their patristic geographj^. 

The period of time which must have elapsed since the abandon- 
ment of the ancient monuments of America, of which we have spoken 
above, sufficient to alloAV of successive forests of so ancient a character 
to have lived and died upon them, taken together with other evidences 
of antiquity, lead us to suppose that the people by ^^•hom they were con- 
structed lived and flourished in times perhaps long anterior to our his- 
toric ages ; and this being the case we are told that those nations 
claim an antiquity Avhich to Europeans appear almost fabulous. 
The Biblical chronologies extant in the present day appear to have 
been made out to show that the earth itself is scarce 6000 years old; 
but it should be remembered that the Scriptural writings furnish no 
data whereon to found any other than an uncertain and speculative 
chronology. When we look into the book of nature, which pro- 
claims in such eloquent terms the wisdom and design and the 
progressive operations of the Creator, and Avhich cannot lie, we 
find it tells us of events of such magnitude as to require prodig- 
iously long periods of time for their accomplishment, making its mo- 
ments appear eternities. What if in it we read that there are fosillif- 
erous rocks wliich have been slowly raised ten thousand feet above 
the level of the sea, and that so late in the world's history as since 
the beginning of the tertiary period ? What if it informs us that 
the peninsula of Florida, which is coraliferous, upon which are 
found monuments of ancient races, abandoned scores of centuries 
ago has not required less than 135,000 yeai's in the process of its 
formation ? Or if we discover from it that the great chasm, seven 
miles in length, through which the Niagara river flows from Goat 
Island to Queenstown Heights, required a period of over 30,000 years 
for its excavation ; or that in certain alluvial beds numerous speci- 


mens of the mastodon giganteus have been found on the shores of 
Lake Ontario, one at a great depth in Burlington Heights, Hamilton, 
and one in the old river bed on Goat Island ; and that these indi- 
viduals must have lived and flourished (says Sir Charles Lyell in his 
" Age of Deposits in North America "), previous to the gradual exca- 
vation of that deep, long chasm; for this ravine is not only postglacial 
but also posterior in date to the mastodon-bearing beds. Or, again, 
if the depression of the fern forests which now form the coal beds of 
Nova Scotia took place at the rate of four feet in a centur}^ there 
was required a period of 375,000 years for their completion to their 
present depth. Or, as a forest can scarce produce more than two or 
three feet of vegetable soil in a thousand years, the dirt beds are the 
work of hundreds of centuries. Or, if it tells us that the delta of the 
Mississippi could only have been formed in many tens of thousands of 
years (estimated by Sir Charles Lyell at 100,000) ; * and that four 
successive cyprus forests lay buried in its depths and yet that it is 
only as a work of yesterday compared to the inland terraces of the 
Mississippi river ; that skeletons have been disinhumed in this same 
delta to which Dr. Dowler assigns an antiquity of 40,000 years at least. 
Or, if, as Sir Charles Lyell says, it be admitted that the human re- 
mains discovered at Natchez, in connection with those of the Mast- 
odon and Megalonyx, were found in their primitive bed, then a race 
of human beings must have occupied that country more than a thou- 
sand centuries ago; and if a thousand centuries ago, we may say 
why not tens of thousands of centuries ; yea, a beginningless suc- 
cession of centuries ; for who will put a beginning to the human 
race other than it has now ? To many who with difficulty shake 
off their patristic chronology such statements appear wonderful, 
and yet they are the deductions the most learned and profound 
geologists have drawn from their perusals of the book of nature. 
Who, then, will say that the poet was not partly right who penned 
that remarkable line: "Thou canst not find one spot whereon no 
city stood." 

Before this continent was discovered by Columbus, Europeans 
generally did not know that it existed, with its races of men, its 
many languages, and its great natural wonders ; but since that time, 
the progress of discovery has been rapid, and each continent and 

A good part of this researcli in Illustration of the " Civilization of tlie Ancient Ameri- 
cans," we have taken from a lecture on that subject by Dr. W. E. Bessey, of Montreal, a 
gentleman of great archaeological and antiquarian research, and an accurate critical 

* This refers to the whole area of the delta, and not only to what i.s now commonly under- 
stood as the delta, whose estimated period of formation is about 35,000 years. 


island that has been discovered has exliibited its peculiar human in- 
habitants with their language, its flora and fauna. And while the 
Europeans and Asiatics, in their vain imagination, were setting up 
theory after theory as to the existence and nature of the Deity, — 
yea, and adding one deity to another in their assumed hierarchy of 
heaven ; while they were expounding their doctrines of a literal crea- 
tion of the earth in six literal days, of redemption, transubstantia- 
tion, total depravity, or predestination ; while they were magnifying 
themselves in their own estimation by the invention of such sys- 
tems, and the inculcation of such dogmas they were all but totally 
ignoi'ant of the earth on which they lived ; much more of the deity 
in the immensity of his nature, whom they pretended to know. 
Alexander and the Romans both made great mistakes when they sat 
down under the impression that they had conquered the world. 
There remained vast continents on the earth which they had never 
seen, never dreamed of; and there remained even in their own hemi- 
sphere a far greater extent of land than that which they had con- 
quered, and which they had never exjolored. There remained the 
vast continent of Africa, with its numerous tribes and languages ; 
and equally vast Eastern and Northern Asia and Northern Europe. 
The Hindoos and the Chinese have literature which goes back for 
tens of thousands of years ; but our European system-makers would 
place the beginning of the existence of the earth and of men at less 
than six thousand years ago. The ancient Pelasgians, inhabitants 
of Eastern Europe, including Greece and Italy, called themselves 
Autochthons, that is, " offsprings of the earth." This seems to have 
been- their traditional belief of their origin. It was not, however, 
literally true, for no human being ever sprung from the earth as 
such. Nor did any real human being ever live that was not produced 
by his own kind, male and female. 

Mr. Darwin in his work on "The Descent of Man, and Selection 
in relation to Sex," makes the following statement as to the orign 
and descent of man : " The most ancient progenitors in the kingdom 
of the vertebrata, at which Ave are able to obtain an obscure glance, 
apparently consisted of a group of marine animals, resembling the 
larvae of existing Ascidians. These animals probably gave rise to a 
gi'oup of fishes, as lowly organized as the lancelet ; and from these 
the Ganoids and other fishes like the Lepidosiren must have been 
developed. From such a fish a very small advance would carry us 
on to the amphibians. We have seen that birds and reptiles were 
once intimately connected together ; and the Mouotremata now, in 
a slight degree, connects animals with reptiles, but no one can at 
present say by what line of descent the three higher and related 


classes, namely, mammals, birds and reptiles, were derived from 
either of the two lower vertebrate classes, namely, amphibians and 
fishes. In the class of mammals the steps are not difficult which 
led from tlie ancient Monotremata to the ancient Marsuinals, and 
from these to the early progenitors of the placental mammals. We 
may thus ascend to the Lemurida^ ; and the interval is not Avide from 
these to the Simiadte. The Simiadte then branched off into two 
great stems, the New World and Old World Monkeys ; and from 
the latter at a remote period, Man, the wonder and glory of the 
universe, proceeded. Thus, we have given to man a pedigree of 
prodigious length, but not, it may be said, of noble quality." 

This is the theory which Mr. Darwin has propounded, or the con- 
clusions to which he has come concerning man's origin. In it we 
have five noticeable stages (we may make as many more as we please 
ad infinitum^ in the descent of man from an insignificant salt-water 
animal to his present state. The first stage consists of a group of 
marine animals resembling the larvae of existing ascidians (Greek 
acxo'c signifying a leather bottle, or wine skin, having two necks); 
called ascidians from the resemblance which these little animals bear 


to a two-necked jar or bottle. But according to the statement the 
progenitors of man only resembled the larvae or spawn of these bottle- 
shaped animals. The second stage was probably a group of fishes. 
The third the Amphibians, which may represent the reptiles in 
general. The fourth we may take as the Simiadse which will repre- 
sent all the ape and monkey tribes as well as the Lemurs. And the 
fifth, the present stage, as Man. 

The difficulty with us is, how any man, be his mental capacity 
and ability never so great, could command such a stretch of imagin- 
ation as to conceive the human race, in all its colors and varieties, 
to have been derived through an infinite series of changes from the 
lowest species of salt-water animals. Fishes have come down to us 
through all the series of geological changes from the most ancient 
period of which geology has any knowledge of existing organic be- 
ings, and still they are fishes. And shall -it not be allowed that man 
has also thus come down to ns, — man in the most ancient periods as 
well as now, — since there is reall)^ no evidence to the contrary? 

For our own part we do not consider that permanency in one 
form or descent through change of form makes the matter either bet- 
ter or worse for man, — makes him of itself, either a more or less 
respectable being, and Avhile admitting that Mr. Darwin has displayed 
great ability and exercised great labor and pains in the fabrication 
and illustration of his theory, — yet in our opinion it remains a theory 
still. Men should consider that Word of Truth (see Gospel of John, 


chapter i.) which represents the Logos, the son, or man in whom is 
exhibited the reason (and speech) as existing eternally with Deity. 
This appears to imply that the head or reason domination, which 
now characterizes man always existed whether or not always in con- 
nection with a body exactly of the human shape. 

But this theory Mr. Darwin bases mainly upon geological dis- 
covery. He should bear in mind that the insignificant scratchings 
which geologists have done on exceedingly small spots of the earth's 
surface, amongst, for the most part, rocks of aquatic origin, are not 
by any means sufficient to base a theory upon which goes to assert 
impossibilities with respect to any thing connected with the earth or 
to man. What do men know about the tens of thousands of genera 
and species of aquatic plants and animals which may now live on the 
beds of the mighty oceans of the earth? What do they know, but 
that most of the fossilized aquatic animals which geologists have dis- 
covered are now represented by living species in the oceans and seas, 
salt water and fresh? Some species which existed in time past may 
have entirely passed away, and their place may be supplied by the 
multiplication of individuals in remaining species. But the dis- 
coveries of geology thus far do not afford any sufficient reason to 
believe that most of the species of plants and animals which existed 
in times past are not now represented in living species. These species 
may be modified in size, but they are of the same structure. Man of 
the past, of whatever size, and we know that his size has varied in 
different ages, is represented by man of the present. And so, we 
think, men will find with respect to most of the other species of ani- 
mals, as well as of plants, if they only take time to make sufficient 
research, or if they ever can do it. By the time that even the vast 
continents of South and North America, Australia, and all the Islands 
of the Pacific and Indian Oceans, as well as Asia, Africa, and Europe, 
have been thoroughly explored by naturalists and geologists, then 
men will be better able to determine with respect to the land species 
of both plants and animals of the present and the past. It cannot 
be said with respect to geological discovery, as it is said with respect 
to the classes of things that what is true of one member of the class 
is true of the class in general. The geological discovery of Britain 
or France or of any other part of Europe may not be at all a fair 
representation of the geological discovery which may be made in 
Tartary, China, Central Africa, Brazil or Utah. Geologists know 
very well how that alteration is continually taking place in the 
earth's surface by elevation and depression ; how that their researches 
hitherto have been among rocks chiefly of aquatic origin ; how that 
many parts that were once diy land, inhabited by man and land ani- 


inals, are now submerged far beneath the sm^face of the seas and 
oceans ; and how that they could not answer a question, even aproxi- 
mately, with respect to the relations of past and present species 
until they would have explored not only all the dry land, but even 
the beds of the seas and oceans, a thing they cannot accomplish. 
Even in places on the land surface where fossil remains existed dur- 
ing long ages of the past there may remain no traces of any now, 
from the fact that they have disappeared by decomposition or some 
chemical process. But to say that one species of animals or of plants 
has ever been changed into another entirely different species or has 
been produced by two entirely different species is asserting a 
thing of which we have no experience or evidence. Experience 
is that hybrids do not propagate ; they die out. And the appearance 
of different species of plants and animals in the successive geological 
strata, which geologists used to attribute to special acts of creation, 
are well accounted for by the migration of species and other causes. 
All the species of plants and animals have always and permanently 
sprung from their own seeds. The rose bush never sprung from the 
seed of the tamarack, the apple tree from the seed of the plum, the 
bean from the seed of wheat ; nor did any one species of plants or 
animals ever spring from other than seeds of their own kind. Cross 
breeds of animals, such as males, always exhibit characteristics un- 
mistakably different from either of the species that entered into their 
production ; and it is by the appearance and characteristics that the 
different species are determined. " I strongly imagine," says Prof. 
Huxley, in in his Lectures to working men, " that if it were not for 
the peculiar appearance that fossilized animals have that you might 
readily walk through a museum which contains fossil remains mixed 
up with those of the present forms of life, and I doubt very much 
whether your uninstructed eyes would lead you to see any vast or 
wonderful difference between the two. If you looked closely jom 
would notice in the first place a great many things very like 
animals with which you are acquainted now, you would see differ- 
ences of shape and proportion, but on the whole a close similarity." 
With respect to Mr. Darwin's theory, we have but to add to what we 
have already said, that strange, indeed, is the course taken by some 
speculative minds ! The great mass of mankind remain yet unen- 
lightened ; and when an individual arises who has become possessed 
of information which he wishes to impart to the rest, his object shoiild 
be to instruct and enlighten them in the truth, and not to propound 
erroneous theories which will tend only to confuse the people's minds 
and render the truth more difficult to be attained. 


Origin of Organic beings illustrated. 

Nor will any knowledge whatever that we have with regard to the 
origin of gpecies militate against anything we have said as to their 
probable permanent existence in tlie main as they now exist. It is 
a fact universally known that every living creature commences its 
existence in a form diiferent from and simpler than that which it 
eventually attains. The apple-tree is a more complex thing than the 
rudimentary plant contained in the seed ; the caterpillar is more 
complex than the egg ; the butterfly than the caterpillar; and the 
series of changes which each of these beings runs through from its 
rudimentary state to its perfect condition is called its development. 
In the higher animals these changes are exceedingly complicated, 
but within the last half century they have become completely sim- 
plified by the labors of some eminent German scholars, as Von Baer 
and others ; so that the successive stages of development which are 
exhibited by an animal, for example, a dog, are well known to the 

If we consider attentively the nature and the order of the stages 
of canine development it will serve as an illustration of the process 
in the higher animals generally. 

The dog, like all animals except the very lowest (and it is thought 
that further enquiries may not improbably remove the apparent ex- 
ception), commences its existence as an egg ; as a body which is in 
every sense as much an egg as that of a hen, but does not possess 
that accumulation of nutritive matter which gives to the bird's egg 
its large size and domestic utility ; and is without the shell which 
would not only be useless to an animal incubated within the body 
of its parent, but would separate it from the' source of that nutriment 
which the young creature requires and which the minute egg of the 
mammal does not contain Avithin it. 

The egg of the dog is, in fact, a little spheroidal bag formed of a 
delicate transparent membrane called the vitelline membrane, and is 
about the l-30th to the 125th of an inch in diameter. It contains a 
mass of nutritive matter, the yelk, within which is enclosed a second 
much more delicate spheroidal bag called the germinal vesicle (a). In 
this is situated a more solid round body termed the germinal spot (b). 
The egg or ovule is originally formed within a gland from which m 
due time it becomes detached and passes into the living chamber 
fitted for its maintenance and protection during the protracted pro- 
cess of gestation. Here placed in the required conditions this 
minute and apparently insignificant particle of living matter be- 



comes animated by a new and mysterious activity. The germinal 
vesicle and spot cease to be discernible (their precise fate being one 
of the problems of embryology yet unsolved) but the yelk becomes 

Plate I. A, egg of the dog ■with vitelline memhrane burst so as to give exit to the yellt, the ger- 
minal vesicle (a) and its included spot (b) B. C. D. E. F. successive changes of the yelk indicated 
in the text. 

circumferentially indented as if an invisible knife had been drawn 
around it and thus appears divided into two hemispheres (C). By 
this repetition of the process in various planes these hemispheres be- 
come subdivided so that four segments are produced (D) ; and these 
in like manner divide and subdivide again until the whole yelk is 
converted into a mass of granules each of which consists of a minute 
spheroid of yelk substance inclosing a central particle called the 
nucleus (F). 

Next the mass of organized cells, as they are technically termed, 
thus formed, acquire an ordei'ly arrangement becoming converted 
into a hollow spheroid with double walls. Then upon one side of 
this spheroid appears a thickening and by and by in the centre of 
the area of thickening a straight shallow groove (Plate II. A) marks 
the central line of the edifice which is to be raised, or in other words 
indicates the position of the middle line of the body canis incipiens. 
The substance bounding the groove on each side next rises up into a 
fold, the rudiment of the side-wall of that long cavity which will 
eventually contain the spinal marrow and the brain, and in the floor 
of this chamber appears a solid celular cord called the 7iotochord. 
One end of the enclosed cavity dilates to form the head (Plate II. 
B), the other remains narrow and eventually becomes the tail ; the 
side-walls of the body are fashioned out of the downward continua- 
tion of the walls of the groove, and from them by and by grow out 



little buds which gradually assume the shape of limbs. Every part, 
every organ, is at first as it were sketched out in the rough, then 
A B 

Plate II, A. Earliest rudiment of the Dog. B. rudiment farther advanced, showing 
the foundation of the head, tail, and vertebrate column. C. the very young puppy 
with attached ends of the yelk-sac, and allantois and invested in the amnion. 

shaped more accurately and at the last receives the touches which 
stamp its final character. Thus at length the young dog assumes 
such a form as is shown in Plate II. C. In this condition it has a 
disproportionately large head as dissimilar to that of a dog as the 
bud-like limbs are unlike his legs. 

A sac attached to the rudimentary intestine and termed the yelk- 
sac or umbellical vesicle contains the remains of the yelk which have 
not yet been applied to the nutriment and growth of the young 
animal. Two membranous bags intended to subserve respectively 
the protection and nutrition of the young creature have been 
developed from the skin and from the under and hinder surface of the 
body ; the former called the amnion is a sac filled with fluid which 
invests the whole body of the embryo and serves as a sort of water- 
bed for it ; the other termed the allantois grows out loaded with 
blood-vessels from the ventral region, and eventually applying itself 
to the walls of the cavity in which the developing organism is con- 
tained enables these vessels to become the channels by which the 
stream of nutriment required to supply the wants of the offspring is 
furnished to it by the parent. 

The structure which is developed by the interlacement of the 
vessels of the offspring with those of the parent, and by means of 
which the former is enabled to receive nourishment and to get rid of 
effete matters, is termed the Placenta. Thus, in the process of em- 
bryonic development by a long and gradual series of changes the 
rudiment here depicted and described becomes a puppy, is born, and 


then by steps even slower and less perceptible passes into the adult 

There is not much apparent resemblance between a fowl and a 
dog; yet the embryologist discovers that the young bird commences 
its existence as an egg in all essential respects iDrimarily the same 
with that of a dog ; but that the yelk of this egg undergoes division, 
that the primitive groove arises and that the contiguous parts of the 
ge]in are fashioned by precisely similar methods into a young bird 
which at one stage of its existence is so like the nascent dog that 
ordinary inspection would hardly distinguish between them. 

The manner of the development of any other vertebrate animal 
Is much after the same fashion. There is always to begin with an 
egg having the same essential structure with that of the dog ; the 
yelk of that egg always undergoes division or as it is called segmenta- 
tion, the ultimate results of that segmentation constitute the struct- 
ural materials of the body of the young animal ; and this is built up 
round a primitive groove in the floor of which a notochord is de- 
veloped. There is, moreover, a period in which the young of all 
vertebrate animals resemble one another not merely in outward form 
but in all essential of structure so closely that the differences be- 
tween them are inconsiderable while in their subsequent course they 
diverge more and more widely from one another. And it is a general 
law that the more closely any animals resemble one another in adult 
structure the longer and more closely do their embryos resemble 
one another ; so that, for example, the embryos of a snake and a 
lizard resemble one another longer than do those of a snake and a 
bird; and the embryo of a dog and a cat resemble one another for a 
far longer period than do those of a dog and a bird, or of a dog and 
an oppossum, or even than those of a dog and a monkey. 

The mode of orgin and the early stages of the development of 
man are primarily the same with those of the animals immediately 
below him in the scale, and it is determined beyond doubt that in 
those respects he is much nearer to the apes than the apes are to the 
dog. He originates in a similar germ, passes through the same slow 
and gradually progressive modifications ; depends on the same con- 
trivances for protection and nutrition, and finally enters the world 
by the help of the same mechanism. 

The human ovule is about the 125th of an inch in diameter and 
might be described in the same terms as that of the dog so that we 
need only refer to the figure illustrative of its structure. It leaves 
the organ in which it is formed and enters the organic chamber 
prepared for its reception in the same way, the conditions of its 
development being in all respects the same. It has not yet been 



possible and only by some rare chance can it ever be possible to 
study the human ovum in so early a stage of development as 
that of yelk-division, but there is every reason to conclude that 
the changes it undergoes are identical with those exhibited by the 
ova of other vertebrate animals. The remarkable correspondence 
between the early stages of the canine and human embryos becomes, 
from what we have seen, more apparent as the development ad- 

At a tolerably early period the body of the young human being 
becomes distinguishable from that of the young dog by the different 
form of their adjuncts the yelk-sack and the allantois. The former 
in the dog becomes long and spindle shaped while in man it remains 
spherical; the latter in the dog attains an extremely large size and 
the vascular processes which are developed from it and eventually 
give rise to the formation of the Placenta (taking root as it were in 


the parental organism so as to draw nourishment therefrom as the 
root of a tree extracts it from the soil), are ari'anged in an encircling 
zone while in man the allantois remains comparatively small ;ind its 
vascular rootlets are eventually restricted to one disc-like spot. Hence 
while the placenta of the dog is like a girdle that of man has the 
cake-like form indicted by the name of the organ. But precisely in 
those respects in which the developing man differs from the dog he 
resembles the ape which like man has a spheroidal yelk-sac, and a 
discoidal, sometimes partially lobed, placenta. So that it is only in 
quite the latter stages of development that the young human being 
presents marked differences from the young ape while the latter de- 
parts in its development as much from the dog as the man does. 
This it is seen appears to show the structural unity of man with the 
rest of the animal world and more closely with the apes. 

In all living beings there are several distinct parts set apart to 
perform particular functions, to operate in particular ways. These 
are termed " organs " and the living being is tei'med "organic." And 
as it is universally characteristic of living beings this term " organic " 
has been conveniently employed to denote the whole of living nature, 
the whole of the vegetable and animal world and therefore in the 
common acceptation of the term " organic nature " is synonymous 
with living nature. 

The matter constituting the living world is identical with that which 
forms the inorganic world, and the powers or forces which are ex- 
erted by living beings are either identical Avith those which exist in 
the inorganic world or they are convertible into them ; just in the 
same sense as the research of physical philosophy has shown that 
heat is convertible into electricity, electricity into magnetism, mag- 
netism into chemical or mechanical force, and any one of those with 
the other, each being measurable in terms of the other, even so that 
great law is applicable to the living world. The difference therefore 
between the forces of the organic and inorganic world arises from 
the diverse combination and disposition of identical forces, and not 
from any primary difference. 

The animal kingdom consists of seven primary divisions or sub- 
kingdoms (not including the microscopic animals); as the Vertebrata, 
or those distinguished by an internal bony skeleton ; the Articulata, 
or those distinguished by an external bony skeleton composed of 
joints, as the lobster, centipede, &c., the Annulosa, or the worm 
tribes ; the Insecta, insects ; the Mollusca, or soft bodied animals, as 
sheU-fish ; the Calenterata or polyps, and the Radiata, including the 
sexless protozoa, and infusoria and sponges, the lowest forms of 
animal life. There is a certain unity of structural plan peculiar to 


each of these sub-kingdoms which distinguishes and characterizes all 
its tribes, and by which it differs from all the other sub-kingdoms 
and their tribes. 

Now it is found that distinct as these plans of structure are, 
every animal begins its existence Avith one and the same primitive 
form, namely, that of the egg, consisting, as we have seen, of an in- 
trogenous substance having a small particle or nucleus in its centre. 
Furthermore, the early changes of each are substantially the same, 
and it is in this consists the true unity of organization of the whole 
animal kingdom which has been imagined for centuries, but has 
been left to the present time to be demonstrated by the careful study 
of development. Moreover, it is now proved that the Avhole of the 
organic world is reducible to one primitive condition of form ; that 
every plant begins its existence under the same form, that is to say, 
in that of a cell, the particle of introgenous matter having substan- 
tially the same conditions as the animal ovule. So that if you trace 
back to its germ any plant or animal you choose to name you shall 
find each and all of them to commence their existence in forms es- 
sentially similar to each other, and further, that the first processes 
of growth and manj^ of the subsequent modifications are essentially 
the same in principle in almost all. 

Finally, we may say that there is nothing yet known either his- 
torically or experimentally concerning the origin of living beings, 
or, in other words, concerning an origin of organic nature or organic 
life other than as we see now and which has been in these pages to 
some extent depicted and described. 

The mode of perpetuation and modifications of form of living 
beings is therefore what engages the attention of naturalists and 
modern evolutionists rather than any question of origin. And we, 
for our part, while allowing that certain slight changes of form may 
have, in the course of time and from external conditions, taken place 
in species (for it may not appear improbable that some slight changes 
of form may take place in species, each returning after a cycle to 
its typical form again) yet we see no ground for justifying any theory 
which would derive all organic beings, animal and vegetable, from 
one primitive life-cell, or which would produce from species, entirely 
distinct species in any length of time. 

Man stands at the head of the animal creation, and for all we 
know to the contrary, has ever occupied that place. He has ever in 
general propagated with his own species. This is illustrated by the 
fact that in all countries which have been discovered no order of 
animals exists as indicating a cross species between man and the 
lower orders of animals. The difierent species of apes, monkeys, 


baboons etc., are distinct from man, and appear always to have been 
so. They differ from him not only in their appearance and habits, 
but in their bodily conformation also. Twenty-four alterations of 
structure, at least, would be required for the transmutation of 
the body of a gorilla into that of a man, all these in the physical or- 
ganization alone. And the difference in the mental capacity is still 
greater ; for while the average capacity of the Anglo-Saxon skull, 
which perhaps may be taken as nearly the average capacity of all 
human skulls, is 96 cubic inches ; that of the gorilla is only 34 J ; 
that of the Chimpanzee 21k ; and that of the Orang 26 cubic inches. 
These are the highest of the ape tribes ; they come nearest to man 
in the scale of being; and yet, what a gulf separates those. orders 
from mankind ! But what eminently distinguishes man from all other 
orders of animals, is the capacity of mind which he possesses, the 
power of reasoning, which indeed gives rise to the power of speech ; 
and without which speech, properly so called, could not exist. Some 
have ventured to enquire why the apes do not speak (for it may be 
remembered that no animal but man exercises the faculty of speech) ; 
as, say they, the organ of speech of the ape resembles that of man. 
Such enquirers do not consider that organs of speech must act 
according to the mind which employs them. Hence while man 
uses a glottis or vocal chords, which act in accordance with his 
reason, or logos, to foi-m a hmguage, the apes can employ but the 
same organs to produce a bark or a yell. Human beings in all 
parts of the world, however unenlightened they may be, know, as it 
were instinctively, the relation in which they stand to the lower 
orders of animals ; and even in the regions of Africa, far away from 
the civilization and unacquainted with the ideas and habits of the 
white races, they preserve their place, and regard the apes with super- 
stitious horror ! Even in the earliest periods of our race of which 
geology thus far furnishes us any information we find its members 
displaying a certain iugenuity and tact in the making of tomahawks, 
arrows, etc., and for all we know to the contrary, they may have dis- 
played great ingenuity in the construction of innumerable other 
things, every trace of which has ages since passed away. There was 
doubtless in all ages a difference of degree existing in respect to 
civilization, as there is now, among the different tribes of mankind. 
And even in the earlier geological times, we find them exercising the 
care of burying their dead or of burning them, which will, in the main, 
account for the fossil remains of man not being found strewed as broad- 
cast as those of the lower land animals. Man has always exercised a 
care over the dead of his own species which none of the lower animals 
were capable of exercising. This of itself is enough to show that he 



always possessed and exercised the power of reason and speech.* 
Would that he had always used this faculty aright ! "Well and happy 
would it thus have been for him ! Even the Quadrumana, or ape- 
tribe, which come nearest to man in the scale of being, do not evince 
to us that they have any conception of care for their dead. All the 
care which they exhibit and which they have in common with all 
otlier animals, even the lowest, is for their young, and to supply their 
own physical wants. All the Indian tribes of North and South 
America, even in their most wild and savage state, have always, 
since the white men have become acquainted with them, given evi- 
dence of deep affection and care for their dead ; and some of these 
tribes are accustomed to come periodically, bringing offerings and 
tears to their tombs ! And every liuman being possessing the ordi- 
nary mental faculties of a human being, of whatever nation or language, 
you may meet with, will, if you find him in circumstances favorable 
for the intercommunication of ideas, give unmistakeable evidence of 
his possessing reason, and of his having some thoughts as to right 
and wrong much as you have 3"ourself. How long ere human be- 
ings exercise such kindness towards each other as their kindred 
relation calls for ? How long before all men will cultivate and 
exercise only the principle of benevolence, to be good and to do 
good ? When that time has come, they will know what we say to 
be true, and each one will realize for one's self the application of the 
name which has long ago been given to the Eternal Father. 

The consideration of the great development of language among the civilized nations, 
ancient as well as modern, would go far to show man's true position in the scale of creation. 
This is especially so in the case of tlie Greek language, which is constructed with such mathe- 
matical precision, and which has been cultivated after that manner in such an early age. Also, 
in the Latin, which approaches the Greek in the beauty and the complexity of its construction, 
though not in the smoothness of its sound, man's mental superiority over the lower animals is 
no less apparent. Even in the construction of these two languages we see a very remarkable 
degree of skill displayed, and in their use during the historic ages, a wonderful development of 
leasonino- power. But because the language of a nation does not display a great number of 
words, this is not a sufficient indication that it is not ingeniously constructed. Succinctness of 
expression gives power to language. The language of almost all the Indian tribes of America, 
South and North, including the Esquimaux, though differing much from each other as to root 
and sound, are all constructed upon the polysinthetic principle; that is, root is so added on to 
root, that quite a number of ideas may be expressed by one complex word. And these peoples 
do not eive much attention to the niceties and the mathematical complexities of mood and tense, 
and ca'^e For instance, one of the tribes, the Algonquins, are said by a missionary who has 
■been amongst them, to have expressed the following number of ideas by one word, nadhoh- 
Tieen: "Come and fetch us across the river in a canoe." But in some cases they express by 
Tery long words objects which in English are expressed by monosyllables. In the Pawnee lan- 
guase the word for day is shakoorooeeshairet. and for devil it is tsaheekshkakooraiwah. -heir 
words, however, for these common objects may, for what we know, represent to their mmd, 
complex ideas, i'. e., mav represent each a combination of many simple ideas. The Greek lan- 
guage both as to its alphabet and construction, must have been in use in very eariy times. 
This is evident from the perfection it displayed, as compared with other ancient languages, 
*ven so early as the age of Homer, the 12th century B. C. It then had its several dialects of 



All the works of nature speak of their Author in silent but em- 
phatic language, and declare His wonderful perfections. But, 
although there is no speech or language in which the voice of Deity- 
is not heard, yet how gross and inadequate are the conceptions gener- 
ally entertained of that Being in whom we live and move and by 
whose power all events in nature are directed and controlled. The 
benevolence of the Deity is seen not only in the sunshine and the 
shower, but in the ample provision which is made on the earth for 
the wants of man and all other animals. Some fifty years ago it had 
been ascertained that more than 60,000 species of animals inhabited 
the air, the earth, and the waters ; and it was supposed that many 
more thousand species existed, which had not, up to that time, 
come within the observation of the naturalist. Since then, nat- 
uralists may, by their discoveries, have added largely to the 
number of known species, and they may still go on discovering, 
and be able only to make near approaches to the real number 
existing in the earth and in connection with it, a number which it 
does not seem they will ever be able definitely to learn. On the 
earth's surface there is not a patch of ground or a portion of water, 
a single shrub, tree, herb or plant, nor a single leaf of a tree or 
flower, but what teems with animated or sensitive beings. What 
countless millions even of visible animals have their dwelling's in 
caves, in the clefts of rocks, in the bark of trees, in ditches and 
fences, in marshes, in the forests, the mountains and the valleys. 
What innumerable shoals of fishes, of various sizes and appearances. 

the Doric, Ionic, ^Eolic, and Attic, which all after yielded in perfection to the perfected Attic. 
Tlie Latin also, which, as the Attic, was the perfected product of many Italian dialects, must 
have had a very early origin as to its characters and construction since that we meet with the 
construction of mood, and tense, and case, even in the earliest authors of this language, as in 
the Greek. The characters and constructions of these two languages are old, and the thought 
of their authors is old, and indicative of true human feeling. 


inhabit the ocean and sport in the seas and rivers. What millions 
on millions of birds and flying insects, in endless variety, wing their 
flight through the atmosphere above and around us ! Besides these 
there are innumerable multitudes of animated beings, invisible to the 
unassisted eye, and dispersed through every region of the earth, air, 
and seas. In a small stagnant pool which, in summer, appears 
sheeted over with a green scum, there are more microscopic animal- 
cules than would outnumber all the human inhabitants of the earth. 
How immensely great then must be the collective number of these 
creatures throughout all the regions of the earth and atmosphere ! It 
utterly surpasses the limits of our conceptions. Now, it is a fact 
that, from the elephant to the mite, from the whale to the clam, and 
from the ostrich to the gnat or the microscopic animalcule, no animal 
can subsist without nourishment. The species, too, require various 
kinds of food ; some live on grass, some on shrubs, some on flowers, 
and some on trees ; some feed only on the roots of vegetables, some 
on the stalks or stems, some on the leaves, some on the fruit, some on 
the seed, some on the whole plant, and some, as we have shown 
before from Linnaeus, with respect to quadrupeds, prefer one species 
of grass or vegetables, some another. Yet such is the boundless 
munificence of the Creator, that all these countless myriads of sentient 
beings are amply provided for in nature. The eyes of all these 
sentient beings look unto the Creator, and he openeth His hand, and 
satisfieth the desire of every living being. The world is so arranged 
that every place affords the proper food for all the living creatures 
with which it is inhabited. They are furnished with every organ 
and apparatus for the gathering, preparing, and digesting of their 
food, and are endowed with admirable sagacity in finding out and 
providing their nourishment, and enabling them to distinguish be- 
tween what is salutary and what is pernicious. In the exercise of 
these faculties, and in all their motions, they appear to enjoy a hap- 
piness suitable to their nature. The young of all animals in the ex- 
ercise of their incipient faculties, the fishes sporting in the water, 
the birds skimming through the air or warbling in the thickets, the 
gamesome cattle browsing in the pastures, the wild beasts bounding 
through the forests, the insects gliding through the air and crawling 
along the ground, and even the earth-worms wriggling in the dust, 
all proclaim by the vivacity of their movements and their various 
tones and gesticulations, that they are not without enjoyment in the 
exercise of their powers. In this boundless scene of animate existence 
we see a striking illustration of the truth of the statements: 
" Jehovah is good to all," " the earth is full of His riches," and 
" His tender mercies are over all His works." Although such dis- 


plays of adaptation in animate creatures to their circumstances, and 
in the arrangements for their wants and enjoj'^ments, are obvious 
evidences of benevolence in the Deity to a reflecting mind, yet they 
are almost entirely overlooked by the bulk of mankind, owing to 
their ignorance of the facts of natural history, and the inconsiderate- 
ness with which they are accustomed to view the objects of the vis- 
ible creation. Hence they are incapable of appreciating the bene- 
ficence of the character of the Deity, and the wealth of his munificence, 
and unable to feel those emotions of admiration which an enlightened 
contemplation of the scenes of nature are calculated to inspire. 

As the conceptions existing in the mind of an artificer are known 
by the work he produces, or the operations he performs, so the ideas 
which have eternally * existed in the Creator's mind may be known 
from the objects He creates, the events He brings about, and the 
operations He is incessantly conducting. The production of a single 
object is an exhibition of the idea existing in the creative mind of 
which it is a copy. The production of a second or third object 
exactly resembling the first would only exhibit the same idea a 
second or a third time without disclosing anything new concerning 
the producer ; and, consequently, our conceptions of His intelligence 
would not be enlarged though millions of such objects were presented 
to our view, just as a hundred pairs of spectacles or a hundx-ed micro- 
scopes of exactly the same pattern, constructed by the same artist, 
give us no higher idea of his skill and ingenuity than the construc- 
tion of one. But every variety in the objects and arrangements of 
nature exhibits a new discovery of the contrivances, the intelligence, 
and the multiciplicity of ideas of the Creator ; and these varieties, as 
the Creator, are infinite. 

* That this infinity of ideas always existed in the Creator's mind is necessarily certain from 
the fact of the infinite and eternal omnipresence of the Creator, which necessitates that these 
ideas could not arise to him from any other source than from himself. The Creator alone is 
eternal ; all created things liave a beginning and an end in time and space. We may also under- 
stand the Creator to be personal and absolute as well as infinite, although we cannot conceive 
of liim as either of these or as anything. It cannot be said that the idea or ideas implied in the 
created thing arose to the Creator :rom the thing created any more than a picture can exist 
without an original existing of which it is a copy. All created things are merely copies of ideas 
pre-existing in the Creator's mind. This general idea of creating things refers to all the objects 
created on or in the eartli, or in any of the heavenly bodies, or in any part of space. That the 
earth considered as a globe made up of solid, liquid and seriform substances, has a limit in 
every direction in space cannot well be dotibted; and thus it is doubtless with each of the 
heavenly bodies, for the earth and each of them appear to perform motions and revolutions in 
space around each other. It is in accordance with our experience and Icnowledge that all things 
created in the animal and vegetable world have a beginning and an end in time and space; and 
also in the mineral world, even in the bowels of the earth, we find change taking place, one 
form or species of matter frequently taking the place of another in mineral existences, and to 
the extent that this change takes place in the mineral department of existence, to this extent 
there is mineral creation. Indeed tlie whole earth may be said to be continually in a state of 
cliange, and so it may be said to be an object of creation. So evidently it is with each of the 
other celestial bodies. 


It is proper here to state that the objects which man produces are 
all imitations of objects already existing in nature, and that man 
cannot have any true conceptions but what are of existing things. 
The word idea means literally an image or picture of anything ; and 
as everj'body knows there cannot be a true image or picture unless 
there exists a thing of which the image or picture is a representation, 
so neither can there be a true idea conceived in the mind unless a 
thing exists in the universe of which it is a representation. This 
will at once satisfy any thinking mind that a real world exists external 
to one's self in opposition to any theory which will represent the 
"<vorld as consisting merely of our conceptions. 

We remember once being in company with some rural friends, 
when Bishop Berkeley's theory was mentioned, a theory which is 
understood to demonstrate that no external world exists, and that 
when one sees with his eyes any object, for example a tree, he does 
not see the tree but only a picture of it on his retina. This illustra- 
tion of the theory being made, one of the company expressed himself 
as follows : " Well, I guess, if he bumped his head against it, he 
would find out whether it was a tree or only an idea." Even so the 
readers may always feel assured that a world exists external to them- 
selves in which they as creatures live and. move. And each human 
being has his own ideas of and concerning the world. This external 
world you realize in every man and every object you behold. The 
martyr at the stake, or on the cross, realizes it in those who are 
cruelly depriving him of life. The convicted person in the court or 
on the scaffold realizes it by all he sees around him. And both 
opposing parties in the terrible bayonet charge realize mutually this 
great fact. Let no one by sophistry or plausable talk impose upon 
you to such a degree as to cause you to believe that a shadow can 
exist without a substance, or that true ideas can exist in the mind 
without the real things existing of which they are the pictures, even 
so the Deity is everywhere present a great reality. You can appre- 
ciate his presence and character in all the objects and operations 
of nature ; nor can sophistry or plausable words, spun out to any 
extent, make the Deity other than that great and omnipresent reality 
the Deity is. You should ever remember that your duty is to be 
good and to do good before him, worshipping him who is invisible 
alone in spirit and in truth. 

The young (yea, and the old) should always remember, that while 
studying, either from books or from nature, it is very important to 
acquire full and distinct ideas in their mind of the subject of their 

* Ideas which do not represent real things are fictitious, creations of the Imagination. 



study ; for as true ideas cannot exist without the real things existing, 
of which they are but the pictures or shadows, even so a proper and 
well connected discourse on any subject cannot be produced unless 
the distinct ideas exist in the mind before, of which the discourse is 
but a representation. Ideas are representations of things, and words 
are representations of ideas ; and words spoken inconsiderately, and 
at random, which are not the representations of true and well defined 
ideas, are as chaff blown away by the wind ; they produce no proper 
effect, and are better left unspoken. The young and old should en- 
deavor to have full, and true, and well defined ideas of things, and 
having these they will acquire, with comparative ease, words to ex- 
press them. First have full and accurate ideas on any subject, and 
a sufficiency of words to express those ideas will naturally and easily 

Now in the universe, we find all things constructed and arranged 
on the plan of boundless variety. In the animal kingdom, as we 
have already remarked, there had been ascertained some fifty years 
ago, sixty thousand different species of animate beings. These were 
enumerated as follows : Six hundred species of mamalia, or animals 
that suckle their young, most of which are quadrupeds; four thou- 
sand species of birds ; three thousand species of fishes ; seven hun- 
dred species of reptiles, and forty-four thousand species of insects • 
about three thousand species of shell-fish ; and besides these there 
were perhaps one hundred thousand species of animalcuks invisible 
to the naked eye, which the microscope had brought to view, and 
new species daily discovering in consequence of the zeal and industry 
of the lovers of Natural History. We cannot set any definite limits 
to the number of animate beings existing in the earth, which has 
never yet been thoroughly explored, and never can be. 

We may next consider that the organized structure of each species 
consists of an immense number of parts, and that all the species are 
endlessly diversified, differing from each other in their forms, organs, 
members, faculties, and motions. They are of all shapes and sizes, 
from the microscopic auimalculum, ten thousand times less than a 
mite, to the elephant and the whale. They are different in regard to 
the construction of their sensitive organs. In regard to the eye, some 
have that organ placed in front so as to look directly forward, as in 
man. The human eye is so constructed by means of muscular bands 
attached to it as to be able to move up or down, to the right side or 
to the left, without the head being moved. This, you s6e, is a very 
convenient arrangement indicating benevolent design in the Creator. 
Other animals, as birds, deer, hares, and conies, have this organ so 
placed toward the side of the head as to take in nearly a whole hem 


isphere. This is a convenient arrangement for them, as it enables 
them to see their pursuers behind them, without turning the head. 
Some have this organ fixed, and others moveable : some have two 
globes or balls, as man and quadrupeds ; some have four, as snails, 
which are fixed in their horns ; some have eight, set like a locket of 
diamonds, as spiders ; some have several hundreds, as flies and beetles, 
and others have over twenty thousand, as the dragon-fly, and several 
species of butterflies.* 

In regard to the ear, some have it large erect and open, as in man 
and the hare, so as to hear the least noise and avoid danger ; in some 
it is covered to keep out noxious bodies ; and in others, as the mole, 
it is lodged deep and backward in the head, fenced and guarded from 
external injuries. With regard to their clothing, some have their 
bodies covered with hair, as quadrupeds ; some with feathers, as 
birds ; some with scales as fishes ; some with shells, as the tortoise ; 
some only with skin, as some serpents and eels : some with stout 

* The ejes of beetles, silk-worms, flies, and several other kinds of insects are among the 
most admirable productions of the Creator. On the head of a fly are two large protuberances 
corresponding to the two eyes in other animals, one on each side; these constitute its organs of 
vision. The whole surface of these protuberances is covered with a multitude of small hemis- 
pheres, placed with the greatest regularity in rows, crossing each other iu a kind of lattice 
work. These little hemispheres have each a minute, transparent, convex lens in the middle, 
each of which has a distinct branch of the optic ne^^•e ministering to it; so that the different 
lenses may be considered as so many distinct eyes; 5Ir. Leeuwenhoek counted 6236 in tlie two 
eyes of a silk-worm, when iu its fly-state ; 3180 in each eye of a beetle ; and 8000 in the two eye- 
of the common fly. Mr. Hooke reckoned 14,000 iu the eyes of a drone-fly ; and in one of the 
eyes of a dragon-fly there liave been reckoned 13,500 of these lenses, and consequently in both 
eyes, 27,000, every one of which is capable of forming a distinct image of any object, in the 
same manner as a common convex glass ; so that there are 27,000 images formed on tlie retina 
of this little animal. Mr. Leeuwenhoek, having prepared the eye of a fly for that purpose 
placed it a little farther from his microscojje than when he would examine an object, so as to 
have a proper focal distance between it and the lens of his microscope ; and then looked through 
both, in the manner of a telescope, at the .steeple of a church, which was 2<)9 feet high, and 750 
feet distant, and could plainly see through every little lens the whole steeple, inverted, though 
not larger than the point of a fine needle; and then directing it to a neighbouring house saw 
through many of the little hemispheres, not only the frout of the house, but also the doors and 
windows, and could discover distinctly whether the doors were open or shut. Such an exquisite 
piece of mechanism transcends all human comprehension. 

The eyes of a fly are very large, when compared with tlie size of the head. If one of these 
compound eyes be examined under a glass with a linear, magnifying power of 100, the organ 
will be found to consist of many thousand tubes, each fixed in a six-sided case. Every one of 
these eyelets appears to be a perfect, simple eye, resembling in all essentials that of a man. Dr. 
Hooke gave the number of eyelets in each eye at 7,000, and Dr. Carpenter estimates them at 
4,000. Thus at the lowest computation, a common house-fly possesses 8000 separate organs of 

The eyes of all insects are compound. The eye of a butter-fly contains iu reality about 
17,000 eyelets, giving to this gaudy insect 34,000 in all. Each eyelet is a perfect organ iu itself, 
hexagi->nal, or six-sided, in shape, so that the whole collection resembles the cells in a large 
honeycomb. Some of these insects have also two simple eyes on tlie top of the head, so that 
we must confess ourselves to be altogether inferior in the matter of eyes to the gaudy butter- 
fly. It must not be supposed that when a butterfly looks upon a female of his own species he 
sees 34,000 fluttering bejiuties before him. As the two human eyes do not double objects, so 
the numerous lenses of the butterfly may combine to form but one image. 


and firm armor, as the rhinoceros and crocodile ; and others with 
prickles, as the hedgehog and porcupine ; all nicely adapted to the 
nature of the animal, and the element in which it lives. These cover- 
ings too are adorned with diversified beauties, as appears in the 
plumage of birds, the feathers of the peacock, the scales of fishes, 
the hair of quadrupeds, and the variegated polish and coloring of 
the tropical shell-fish, beauties, which, in respect of symmetry, polish, 
texture, variety and exquisite coloring, defeat every attempt of hu- 
man art to imitate or copy. In regard to respiration, some breathe 
through the mouth by means of lungs, as men and quadrupeds : 
some by means of gills, as fishes ; and some, during the early part of 
their life, as the frog, breathe by means of gills, and in a more 
advanced stage of it they acquire lungs and breathe by means of 
them : and some breathe by organs placed in other parts of their 
bodies, as insects. In regard to the circulation of the blood, some 
have but one ventricle in the heart, some two, and others three. In 
some animals, as man, the heart propels the blood to the remotest 
part of the system : in some it throws it only into the respiratory 
organs ; in others the blood is carried from the respiratory organs, 
by means of the veins, to another heart, and this second heart distri- 
butes the blood by the channels of its arteries to the several parts. 
In many insects a number of hearts ai'e placed at intervals along 
the circulating course, and each renews the impulse of the former, 
so that a continual circulation is kept up. In regard to the bod- 
ily mov^ements, some are endowed with quick motions, others slow ; 
some walk on two legs, as fowls; some on four, as dogs, some on 
eight, as caterpillars; some on a hundred, as scolopendra, some on 
fifteen hundred and twenty feet, as one species of starfish ; and some 
on two thousand feet, as certain specimens of echinus ; (It is men- 
tioned by Lyonet that these echini have 1300 horns, which they pro- 
trude and draw in at pleasure.) Some glide along with a sinuous 
motion on scales, as snakes and serpents ; some skim through the air, 
one species on two wings, another on four ; and some convey them- 
selves in speed and safety by means of their webs, as spiders ; while 
others glide with agility through the waters by the instrumentalit}/ 
of their tails and fins . Some animals are distinguished for having 
an internal bony skeleton, as man, beasts, birds, and fishes, thence 
called vertebrate ; some for having an external bony skeleton jointed 
at intervals as the lobster and insects, and thence called articulate ; 
some for living in horny houses, as shell-fish, turtles, and land- 
snails, and thence called crustaceous, and molluscous. Some live 
fixed like plants at the bottom of the sea, as the hydra. This ani- 
mal, for example, produces young not only from eggs in the ordi- 


nary way, but also by putting forth buds from its sides, which while 
attached to the parent develop mouths and arms, and then become 
separated ; and having become fixed in their turn they live for 
themselves. The animals called crinoids grow like plants in the 
seas of the Tropics. The sponge also is a plant animal which lives 
fixed at the bottom of the sea. These sponge-plant animals, are of vari- 
ous forms, some of them corresponding to our moorland moss-tufts; 
some to the most elegant types of flower form, and some resembling 
in minature the great candelabra-formed berus of the Gila regions. Most 
people have seen and used the sponge sold in our stores, which is merely 
part of the skeleton of these plant-animals. The great coral islands 
of the Pacific Ocean are merely aggregations of animal develop- 
ments. The coral is the solid parts of the animal, composed of car- 
bonate of lime, and corresponds, as does the sponge, to the bony 
skeleton in higher animals. Corals are of different forms, sometimes 
having the form of trees and shrubs, and sometimes a round form, as 
the brain stone. You have therefore in these plant-animals, which 
are developed in great var'ety and to vast extent in the seas and 
oceans the connecting link between the animal and vegetable and 
mineral kingdoms. 

But it would require volumes to enumerate and explain all the 
varieties and peculiarities which distinguish the different species of 
animated beings . Besides the varieties which distinguish the spe- 
cies from each other, there are not, perhaps, of all the hundreds of 
millions of individuals which compose any one species, two individ- 
uals exactly alike in every point of view in which they may be con- 
templated. As an example of the numerous parts and functions 
which enter into the construction of an animal frame, we may state 
that in the human body there are about 254 bones, each of them hav- 
ing about forty different intentions, or adaptations ; and 443 muscles, 
each having ten several intentions, so that the system of bones and 
muscles alone comprises about 14,620 varieties or different scopes 
and intentions. But, besides the bones and muscles, there are hun- 
dreds of tendons and ligaments for the purpose of connecting them 
together ; hundreds of nerves ramified over the whole body to con- 
vey sensation to all its parts. The nerves have their centres in the 
brain and spinal marrow, whence ramifications proceed to all parts 
of the body. Nerve is derived from the Latin, and means cord ; and ' 
the nerves, though infinitely fine cords, may, for the sake of illustra- 
tration, be compared to telegraph-wires, Avhich communicate their 
messages instantly to tlieir centres, and thence to all parts of the sys- 
tem. The human being has five senses : sight, hearing, touch or feel- 
ing, taste and smell, each of these has its peculiar set of nerves; 


and not only that, but the nerves are so closely reticulated over the 
whole body that you cannot prick it in any place with the point of 
the finest needle without affecting numbers of them. The senses, 
then, are the channels through which the sensitive or animate being 
communicates with the external world ; by which the rational being 
knows that it exists and that he exists. There are thousands of ar- 
teries to convey the blood to the remotest extremities of the system, 
and thousands of veins to bring it again to the heart; thousands of 
lacteal and lymphatic vessels to absorb nutriment from the food; 
thousands of glands to secrete humors from the blood, and of emunc- 
tories to throw them off from the system ; and besides many othei 
parts of this variegated system with which we are acquainted, there 
are more than sixteen hundred millions of membraneous cells or 
vesicles, connected with the lungs ; more than two hundred thousand 
millions of pores in the skin, through which the perspiration is inces- 
santly flowing ; and above a thousand millions of scales which accord- 
ing to Leeuwenhoek, Baker, and others, compose the cuticle of 
outer covering of the body. We have also to take into account the 
compound organs of life, the numerous parts of which they consist, 
and the diversified functions they perform ; such as the brain with its 
infinite number of fibres and numerous functions ; the heart with its 
ventricles and auricles; the stomach, with its muscular coats and jui- 
ces ; the liver, with its lobes and glands ; the spleen, with its infinity 
of cells and membranes ; the pancreas, with its juice and numerous 
glands ; the kidneys, with their fine capillary tubes ; the intestines 
with all their windings and convolutions ; the organs of sense, with 
their multifarious connections; the messentary, the gall-bladder, the 
uretus, the pylorus, the duodenum, the blood, the bile, the lymph, the 
saliva, the chyle, the hair, the nails, and the numerous other parts 
and substances, every one of which has diversified functions to per- 

We may also take into consideration the number of ideas included 
in the connection and arrangement of all these parts, and of the man- 
ner in which they are compacted into one system of small dimensions 
so as to allow free scope for all the intended functions. If then, for 
the sake of illustration, we were to suppose, in addition to the 14,620 
adaptations of the bones and muscles, as stated above, that there 
are 10,000 veins, great and small, 10,000 arteries, 10,000 nerves, 1,000 
ligaments, 4,000 lacteals and lymphatics, 100,000 glands, 1,600,000,- 
000 vesicles in the lungs, 1,000,000,000 scales, and 200,000,000,000 
pores, the amount would be 202,600,149,460 different parts and adap- 
aptations in the human body ; and if all the other species were sup- 
posed to consist of a similar number of parts, though differently 


organized, this number multiplied by 300,000, the supposed number 
of species, the product would amount to 60,780,044,838,000,000, or 
above sixty thousand billions, the number of distinct ideas, concep- 
tions, or contrivances in relation to the animal world, a number of 
which we can have no adequate conception, and to our minds, seems 
to approximate to infinity; but the calculation is merely a rude ap- 
proximation, and may serve to convey some idea of the endless mul- 
tiplicity of conceptions which pervade the Eternal mind. 

That many other tribes of animate beings have an organization 
no less complicated and diversified than that of man, will appear 
from the following statement of M. Lyonet. This celebrated natur- 
alist wrote a treatise upon a single insect, the cossus caterpillar, 
which lives on the leaves of the willow, in which he has shown from 
the anatomy of that animal, that its structure is almost as complicated 
as that of the human body, and many of the parts which enter into 
its organization even more numerous. He has found it necessary to 
employ twenty figures to explain the structure of the head, which 
contains 228 different muscles. There are 1647 muscles in the body, 
and 2066 in the intestinal tube, making in all 3713 muscles, or nearly 
nine times the number of muscles in the human body. There are 
94 principal nerves, which divide into innumerable ramifications. 
There are two large tracheal arteries, one at the right and the other 
at the left side of the insect, each of them communicating with the 
air by means of nine spiracula. Round each spiraculum the trachea 
pushes forth a great number of branches, which are again divided 
into smaller ones, and these subdivided and spread through the 
whole body of the caterpillar ; they are naturally of a silver color, 
and make a beautiful appearance. The principal tracheal vessels 
divide into 1326 different branches. All this complication of deli- 
cate mechanism, with numerous other parts and organs, are com- 
pressed into a bod}- only two inches in length. 

If we direct our attention to the vegetable kingdom, we may con- 
template a scene no less variegated and astonishing, than what ap- 
pears in the animal world. There have already been discovered about 
ninety thousand species of plants, specimens of the greater part of 
which have been preserved in the museum of Natural History at 
Paris. But it is said by naturalists that the actual number in the 
earth and waters cannot be reckoned at less than four or five hun- 
dred thousand species ; indeed the truth is that as in the animal 
kingdom, they can put no definitive limits to the number, for a great 
part of the earth they can never explore. 

The observer who takes a survey of the various members of the 
vegetable kingdom becomes cognizant of at least one prominent dis- 


tinction between them. He soon perceives that while certain vege- 
tables have flowers, others have none ; or, perhaps, more correctly 
speaking, if the second division really possess flowers they are im- 
perceptible. This distinction was first taken as a basis of classification 
by Linnaeus, the Swedish naturalist; and to this extent the clas- 
sification adopted by that great philosopher was strictly natural ; 
beyond this his classification was artificial. Now taking advantage 
of this distinction, Linnaeus termed the evident-flowering plants 
phcenogamous^ from a Greek word signifying to appear ; and he des- 
ignated the non-flowering or more correctly speaking the non- 
evident-flowering plants Cryptogamic^ from a Greek word sig- 
nifying concealed. In making this division of plants into flowering 
and non-flowering, one must greatly expand his common notions of 
a flower, and not restrict the appellation to those pretty floral orna- 
ments, which become objects of attraction, and of which bouquets 
are made. On the contrary he must admit to the right of being 
regarded as a flower any floral part, however small, even though a 
miscrocope should prove necessary for its discovery. Thus, in com- 
mon language we do not usually speak of the oak, the ash, the beech, 
the elm, etc., as being flower-bearing trees ; but they are, neverthe- 
less, and consequently belong to the first grand division of flower- 
ing, or phsenogamous, plants. The reader may remember as a rule, 
to which there are no exceptions, that every member of the vegetable 
world which bears a fruit, and consequently seeds, belongs to the 
phsenogamous division. By following the indications of this rule, we 
restrict the cryptogamic, or non-flowering plants, to the seemingi;y 
narrow limits of ferns, mushrooms, mosses, and a few others, all of 
which are devoid of seeds, properly so called, but are furnished with 
a substitute for seeds termed sporules or spores. Sporules, then, are, 
so to speak, the seeds of flowerless and, therefore, seedless plants. 
We have before spoken of the vegetable kingdom as being divided 
into the two great branches of exogenous and endogenous plants. 
We may here state, however, that these two branches are included 
within the one great division of flowering plants, and have nothing 
to do with the non-flowering division, which is itself confined to 
narrow limits of the lowest species of plants. 

All plants, most probably, certainly all flowering plants, possess 
sexes. The flower and its appendages are the reproductive organs 
of the plants. Without flowers there could be no fruit ; without 
fruit there could be no seed ; and without seed, properly so called, 
by far the greater number of vegetables could not be multiplied. 
Both sexes, the male organ called stamen, upon which the pollen or 
fecundating dust is produced, and the female organ called pistil, in 


which the fertilizing takes places, are usually contained in the same 
plant, in the same flower of the plant. Occasionally, however, the 
two sexes are on different flowers of the same plant, and sometimes 
on different plants. We may, therefore, properly say that the greater 
number of flowers contain both sexes ; but occasionally, on some 
plants, the sexes have flowers, each sex to itself; and occasionally 
again the males monopolize all the flowers on one plant, and the 
females all the flowers on another. When the two sexes reside in 
two sets of flowers on the same plant, then such a plant is said to 
be monoecious, signifying " one house ; " the plant, we suppose, being 
regarded as a house, and the flowers as chambers in the same, in 
which the ladies and gentlemen dwell. When, however, the males' 
all reside in the flowers of one plant, and the females in the flowers 
of another, then such plants are said to be dioecious, or " two-housed," 
the reason of which is obvious. The seeds or eggs of the plants are 
fertilized by the pollen, a yellowish powder, from the stamen, falling 
on the top of the pistil, causing it to expand, and finding its way 
into the ovary or seed-case, situated at the bottom of the pistil ; and 
so the seeds are fertilized and prepared to produce when placed in 
proper circumstances. 

The function of seeds in the flowerless plants is, as we have said, 
performed by spores or sporules, from aizoptx;, the Greek word for 
scattered seeds. This alass of plants is very small when compared 
with the flowering ; and the spores are prepared for the most part in 
little receptacles called sporanges or theca ; from whence, when ripe, 
they are scattered about by the Avinds ; the old plants dying, new 
ones spring up from the spores to replace them. The best known 
species of this cryptogamic division, are the mosses, lichens, ferns, 
and fungi. The fungi are said by naturalists to be a mass of repro- 
ductive matter in themselves. In these non-flowering species may 
be recognized the lowest in the scale of plants ; just as we have seen 
sponges, corals, etc., to be the lowest in the scale of animals. Do 
not the fungi, sponges, etc., of the two kingdoms bear some resem- 
blance to each other? 

If the reader wishes to know what the sporules are like let him 
take the well-ripe leaf of a fern (which is not properly a leaf, but a 
frond) ; let him turn the under surface of the frond uppermost, and 
he will see thereon many rows of dark stripes. These are termed 
Sporidia, and they contain thespores or sporules of the plants; which 
latter may be obtained by opening the sporidia. These sporules, when 
viewed with the naked eye, look almost like dust ; when examined 
under a microscope, however, their outline is easily recognized. The 
difference between a sporidium or sporule and a real seed may be 


thus explained : a seed has only one part, the embryo or germ, from 
which the young plant can spring ; whereas a sporule does not refuse 
to sprout from any side which may present itself to the necessary 
conditions of earth and moisture. Thus, we see the resemblance of 
these minute seeds to the sponge, which is said to be a vast mass of 
reproductive matter. Although the sporules are thus easily discer- 
nible in the fern tribe, yet they are not found so easily in other 
members of the cryptogamic division ; in various members of which 
not only does their position vary, but their presence is undiscoverable 
by any means we possess. 

Now the members of the vegetable kingdom are of all sizes, from 
the invisible forests, which are seen by the aid of the microscope in 
a piece of moldiness, to the cocoa of Malabar, fifty feet in circum- 
ference, the great dragon tree of Teneriffe, which is of such dimen- 
sions that ten full grown men joining hand to hand are scarcely suffi- 
cient to encircle its base, or the monstrous sequoise trees of California 
near forty feet in diameter and four hundred feet in height. Each 
of them great and small, is furnished with a complicated system of 
vessels for the circulation of its juices, the secretion of its odors, and 
other important functions, analogous to those in animals. Almost 
every vegetable consists of a root or an assemblage of roots, each of 
which is terminated by a niimber of rootlets or little tufts called 
spongioles, which absorb the nourishment from the soil ; a tuber or 
bulb, a trunk or stem, branches, leaves, skin, bark, sap-vessels, or 
system of arteries and veins, glandules for perspiration ; flowers 
made up of sepals, petals, stamens, pistils, farina, ovary or seed-case, 
seed, fruit, spores or sporules and various other parts ; and these are 
different in their construction ^nd appearance in the different 

Some increase, or grow, as all exogenous plants, by external de- 
positions of their woody matter, and are distinguished, if cut in hor- 
izontal sections of the trunk, by concentric rings increasing in dimen- 
sions from the centre to the outside. See, for illustration, a horizontal 
section of the trunk of the oak or elm. Others, as all endogenous 
plants, grow by internal depositions of their woody matter, and are 
distinguished, if cut in horizontal section of their trunk, by the 
absence of pith and concentric rings; and by the tissue, of which 
the stem is made up, appearing as long strings of woody fibre, and 
extending upwards. See, for illustration of this kind, the horizontal 
section of the palm tree of tropical climates, the sugarcane, the bam- 
boo, and all the grasses. 

Some vegetables, as the oak, are distinguished for their strength 
and hardness ; others as the elm and fir, are tall and slender j some 



1. Horizontal Section of an Exogen. 2. Horizontal Section of an Endogen. 3. Dotted Vessels 
of the Clematis. 4. Dotted Vessels of the Melon. 5. Spiral Vessels of the Melons. 6. 
Lactiferous Vessels of the Celandine. 7. Ovoid Celi. 8. Stelliform Cells. 9. Angular Cells. 

are tall, and tapering upwards to a point, as the cedar ; while others 
never attain to any considerable height, as the thorn-shrub ; some 
have a rough and uneven bark, while others, as the birch, the maple 
and the poplar, are smooth and fine ; some are so slight and delicate, 
that the least wind may bend them ; while others can resist the 
violence of the strongest blasts ; some acquire their full growth in a 
few years ; while others, as the dragon-tree, grow to a prodigious 
size, and stand the blasts of many centuries ; some have their branches 
close to the trunk ; while others, as the banyan tree, shoot them out 
so as to cover five acres of land, and shelter a thousand men ; some 
have leaves scarcely an inch in length and breadth, while others, as 
the tallipot of Ceylon, have leaves so large that one of them, it is 
said, will shelter fifteen or twenty men from the rain ; or as some of 
the water lilies of Central America, whose leaves, being fifteen or 
eighteen feet in diameter, a man may float on in safety, and whose 
flowers and ovary are proportionally large. Some drop their leaves in 
Autumn, and remain for months like blighted trunks ; while others, 
as the hemlock, the pine, and the holly, retain their verdure during 
the winter. 


The variety in the vegetable kingdom as to flowers is apparent 
even to the most careless observer. Each species of flower differs 
from another in the form and hues which it exhibits. The carnation 
differs from the rose, the rose from the tulip, the tulip from the prim- 
rose, the aaricula from the lily, the lily from the daffodil, the 
narcissus from the ranunculus, and the butter-cup from the daisy; 
while at the same time each narcissus, ranunculus, rose or daisy, has 
its own particular character and beauty; something peculiar to 
itself, and which distinguishes it from the others. In abed of ranun- 
culuses or tulips for example, we shall scarcely find two individuals 
that have precisely the same aspect, or present the same assemblage 
of colors. Some flowers are of statel)'^ appearance and seem to reign 
over their fellows in the same parterre; others are lowly, and creep 
along the ground ; some exhibit the most dazzling colors ; others of 
less imposing appearance blush almost unseen ; some perfume the 
air with the most delightful fragrance, while others emit an un- 
pleasant odor, and only please the sight with their beautiful tints. 
And not only do flowers differ in their forms and colors, but there is 
a great diversity in their perfumes also. The smell of southern wood 
differs from that of thyme, that of balm from that of peppermint, and 
that of the primrose from that of the daisy ; which indicates a variety 
in their internal structures and in the juices which circulate within 

As to the flower it is made up of different parts, as the calyx or 
under whorl, which is itself made up of several parts, called sepals ; 
and the corolla or upper whorl, which is also made up of several 
parts, called petals. The calyx and corolla taken together comprise 
what is called the perianth, or that which surrounds and protects 
the reproductive part of the flower. It may be called a beautiful 
painted house, in which the gentlemen and ladies of the flower live. 
Thus, in the concave space enclosed by the perianth are found the 
reproductive parts of the plants ; the stamens and pistils, or carpels, 
either or both. At the bottom of the pistil, or carpel, which means 
the same thing, is situated the ovary, or seed-case ; the point in 
which it terminates above is called the stigma, and the middle part 
of it, the style. Upon the stigma of the pistil falls the pollen from 
the stamen, which causes the ovary to expand, the fruit to ripen, 
and the seed to grow. Thus, while the roots, with their spongioles, 
are called the nutritive, the flower and its appendages are called the 
reproductive parts of the vegetable. See annexed figures ; also 
figures on pages 227 and 228. 

The leaves of all vegetables, like the lungs and skin of the 

liuman body, are diversified with a multitude of extremely fine ves- 




sels, and an astonishing number of pores. The leaf itself consists of 
two flattened expansions of the epidermis, or the outer covering, 
called the cuticle, of the tree, the one above and the other below, 
enclosing between them nerves and veins, vascular and cellular tissue. 
The word vascular means consisting of, or containing, vessels; and 
cellular means consisting of cells. By vascular tissue is meant those 
little pipes and tubes which run through vegetables, just like arteries 
and veins through animal bodies, and which serve the purpose of 
conveying juices from one part of the plant to another. In plants, 
those pipes or tubes are so exceedingly small, that their tubular 
character is only recognized by the aid of a microscope or powerful 

10. Calyx of Ranunculus. 11. Corolla of Ranunculus. 12. Stamen of Ranunculus. 13. Car- 
pels of Ranunculus. 14. Quinquepartite Calyx of the Pimpernel. 15. Quinquefid Calyx 
of the Gentian. 16. Irregular Calyx of tlie Dead Nettle. 17. Calyx of the Madder. 18. 
Adherent Calyx of the Sunflower. 19. Calyx of the Dandelion. 20. Calj-x of the 
Centranthus. 21. Calycule of the Strawberry. 22. Aooru and Gup. 23. Involucrum of the 


lens, but their presence may be recognized in general by the naked 
eye. Cellular tissue is, as its name indicates, an assemblage of little 
cells, the natural form of which is spheroidal or oval ; but more fre- 
quently this form is modified from various causes, usually the mutual 
pressure of the cells against each other. Thus, the pith of 
trees, a portion of which is made up of cellular tissue, if examined 
iinder the microscope, will be found to be composed of cells, hav- 
ing the form of honeycomb cells, that is, hexagonal. Occasion- 
ally the cells assume a stellate or star-like form, Avhich may be seen 
in a section of the common bean, if examined under the microscope. 

24. Cruciform Corolla of the Celandine. 25. Rosaceous Corolla of the Strawberry. 26. 
Caryophy late Corolla of the Lychnis. 27. Papillionaceous Corolla of the Pea. 28. Tubular 
Corolla of the Corn Centaury. 29. Infundibulifonn Corolla of the Bindweed. 30. Cam- 
panulate Corolla of the Pampanula. 31. Labiate Corolla of the Dead Xettle. 32. Hyi)0- 
crateriforin Corolla of the Periwinkle. 33. Rotate Corolla of the Pimpernel. 36. Anomalous 
Corolla of the Foxglove. 35. Personate Corolla of the Snapdragon. 36. Ligulate Corolla of 
tlie Chrysanthemum. 



Usually those vegetable cells are so very small that a microscope or 
a powerful lens is necessary for observing them. In certain vegeta- 
bles, however, they are of such dimensions as to admit of being 
readily seen by the naked eye. For example, if the fruit of an 
orange be cut or pulled asunder, the cells will be readily apparent. 
And not only do the cells of this cellular tissue admit of being altered 
in form, but occasionally they give rise to parts in the vegetable 

37. Pome. SH. Drupe. 39. Achaenium of the Ranunculus. 40. Caryopsis of the Buckwheat. 41, 
Follicle of the Columbiue. 42. Capsule of the Gentian. 43. Capsule of the Com Poppy 
44- Legume of the Lotus. 45. Capsule of the Colchicum. 4G. Capsule of the Iris. 47 
Siliqua of the Celandine. 48. Silicule of the Mustard Plant 49. Samara of the Maple. 50. 
Nut of the Chestnut. 51. Berry of the Deadly Nightshade. 52. Capsule of the Pimpernel. 
54. Germination of the Bean. 55. Germination of Indian Com. 


organization, which would not be suspected to consist of cells. The 
cuticle, or outer skin, of vegetables is nothing more than a layer of 
cells, firmly adherent ; and the pith of oxogenous plants, for example, 
the substance which makes up the densest part of the centre of the 
oak is nothing more nor less than closely compressed cellular tissue. 
In a former illustration we have stated that the air contained in an 
apple can be expanded into forty-eight times the bulk of the apple ; 
and this is because the inside of the apple is made up of little cells, 
each of which is filled with closely-compressed air. We have also 
intimated that leaves perform for vegetables the same functions in a 
manner that lungs do for man and land animals, and the gills for 
fishes. But how is this performed ? We have shown that the leaves, 
as well as the skin, are full of cells, and tubes, and pores, just like the 
lungs and skin of an animal are ; but they make use of that very kind 
of air which man and the animals refuse ; they inhale carbonic acid 
so much of which is generated on the surface of the earth by com- 
bustion, as well as otherwise, and in animal bodies, — they retain the 
carbon, which the animals refuse, and reject the oxygen, which the 
animals retain, and which supports their life. Carbonic acid is in 
itself poisonous to animals, but is thus the support and nourishment 
of vegetables ; and the latter, by using it, perform the part of purify- 
ing the air. Hence it is seen how one part of nature is adapted to 
the other ; how each element returns to its proper place, and all things 
to equilibrium. In a kind of box-tree, called Palm of Ceres, it has 
been observed that there are over 172,000 pores on one side of the 
leaf. The whole earth is covered with vegetable life in such profu- 
sion as astonishes the comtemplative mind. Not only the fertile 
plains, but the rugged mountains, the most barren spots, and even the 
caverns of the ocean, are diversified with plants of various kinds; and 
from the torrid to the frigid zones every soil and every climate 
has plants and flowers peculiar to itself. To attempt to estimate 
their number and variety would be like attempting to dive into the 
depths of infinity: and, therefore, we shall have to content ourselves 
with merely giving this interesting part of nature a passing notice, 
so far at least as to show its analogy and relation to the animal king- 
dom. Yet every diversity in the species of plants, every variety in 
the form and structure of individuals, and even every difference in the 
shade and combination of colors in flowers of the same species, 
exhibits a distinct conception which ever existed in the Eternal mind. 
Linngeus adopted the following pithy designation for minerals, 
vegetables and animals : " Minerals," he said, "grow: plants grow 
and live ; but animals grow, live and feel." An expression which 
indeed, if insufficient is not unjust. We may say more distinctively, 


however, that animals are those living beings which derive their 
nutriment from an internal cavity, the stomach ; and. vegetables are 
those living beings which derive their nutriment from without. 

If we should take a survey of the mineral kingdom we should also 
behold a striking expression of the manifold wisdom and the power of 
Deity. It is true we cannot penetrate into the bowels of the earth 
so as to ascertain the substances which exist and the processes which 
are going on near its central regions. But within a short distance 
of its surface we find such an astonishing variety of mineral sub- 
stances as clearly shows that its internal parts are constructed on the 
same plan of variety as characterizes the animal and vegetable king- 
doms. In the classes of earthy, saline, inflammahle, and metallic fossils, 
under which mineralogists have arranged the substances of the min- 
eral kingdom, are contained an immense number of genera and spe- 
cies. Under the earthy class of fossils are comprehended diamonds, 
chrysolites, menillites, garnets, zeolites, corundums, agates, jaspers, 
opals, pearl-stones, tripoli, clay-slate, basalt, lava, chalk, limestone, 
ceylenite, strontium, barytes, celestine, and various other substances. 
The saline class comprehends such substances as the following: 
natron or natural soda, rock-salt, nitre, alum, sal-ammoniac, epsom- 
salts, etc. The class of inflammahle substances comprehends sulphur, 
carbon, bitumen, coal, amber, charcoal, naphtha, petroleum, asphalt, 
caoutchouc, mineral-tar, etc. The metallic class comprehends iridium, 
platina, gold, mercury, silver, iron, lead, tin, bismuth, zinc, antimony, 
cobalt, nickel, manganese, magnesium, molj-bdenum, arsenic, scheele, 
menachanite, uran, silvan, chromium, tungsten, uranium, titanium, 
tellurium, sodium, potassium, etc. All these mineral substances are 
distinguished by many species and varieties. There are reckoned 
eight genera of earthy fossils. One of these genera, the flint, 
contains thirty-four species ; and these species are distinguished by 
numerous varieties, such as crysoberj'ls, topazes, agates, beryls, 
quartz, emery, diamond, spar, etc. Another genus, the clay, contains 
thirty-two species, such as opal, pitch-stone, felspar, black-chalk, 
mica, horne-blende, etc. And another genus, the calc, contains 
twenty species, as limestone, chalk, slate, spar, fluor, marie, boracite, 
loam, etc. There are ten species of silver, five of mercurj', seven- 
teen of copper, fourteen of iron, ten of lead, six of antimony, three 
of bismuth, etc. All these mineral bodies present differences as to 
figure, transparencj'-, hardness, lustre, ductility, malleability, texture, 
structure, sound, smell, taste, weight, and their magnetical and elec- 
trical properties; and they exhibit almost every variety of color. 
As to structure, a body may be brittle, sectile, or separating in layers, 
malleable, flexible and elastic. A mineral can onlv affect the taste 


which is soluble in the saliva, and is saline, alkaline, or astringent. 
Dependent upon light are five characteristics of minerals, color, lus- 
tre, diaphaneity, refraction and fluorescence. Color is either metallic 
or non-metallic. Metallic lustre is that peculiar lustre which distin- 
guishes the metals, although it does not belong exclusively to them ; 
for graphite, which is carbon, and the scales of iodine both possess 
metallic lustre. Minerals whose color is non-metallic may be found 
of every hue, from the black onyx to the colorless diamond. The 
colors which distinguish all other objects are non-metallic. The 
degrees of lustre are five : splendent, shining, glistening, glimmering, 
dull, which expresses the absence of lustre. The degrees of dia- 
phaneity are five : transparent, semi-transparent, translucent, trans- 
lucent on the edges, opaque, when no light passes through, etc. 
Some of these substances are soft and pulverable, and serve as a bed 
for the nourishment of vegetables, as black earth, chalk, clay and 
marie. Some are solid, as iron and silver ; and some are fluid, as 
mercury, sodium, and potassium. Some are brittle, as antimony and 
bismuth ; and some are malleable, as gold and zinc ; some are subject 
to the attraction of the magnet; others are conductors of electricity; 
some are easily fusible by heat ; others will resist the strongest heat 
of our common fires. Some are extremely ductile, as platina, which 
has been drawn out into wires less than the two-thousandth part of 
an inch in diameter ; and gold, the parts of which are so fine and 
expansible, that an ounce of it is sufficient to gild a silver wire more 
than 1300 miles long. 

To have the opportunity of acquiring the most ample and impres- 
sive idea of the mineral kingdom one should visit an extensive min- 
eralogical museum, where he will have ocular evidence of the great 
beauty and the endless variety which this department of nature 
exhibits. Here it may also be remarked that not ordy the external 
aspect of minerals, but also the interior configuration of many of 
them presents innumerable beauties and varieties. A rough, dark- 
looking pebble, which to an incurious eye appeal's only like a fragment 
of common rock, when cut asunder and polished presents an assem- 
blage of the finest veins and most brilliant colors. Marble workers 
have daily experience of this in the rough blocks of California and 
other marble, as well as of granite and other stone, which they 
reduce to such smoothness and beauty by their art. If one goes into 
a lapidary's shop which is furnished on an extensive scale, and takes, 
a leisurely survey of his jaspers, topazes, cornelians, agates, garnets, 
and other stones, he cannot fail to be struck with admiration, not only 
at the exquisite polish and the delicate wavings which their surfaces 
present, but at the variety of coloring and design exhibited, even by 


individuals of the same species , the latent beauties and diversities 
'of which require the aid of the microscope to discern, and are beyond 
■the efforts of the most delicate pencil to imitate. 

And not only in the objects which are visible to the naked eye is 
the characteristic of variety to be seen, but also in those which can 
only be discerned by the aid of the microscope. In the scales of 
fishes, for example, we perceive an infinite number of diversified 
specimens of the most curious productions. Some of these are of an 
extended form, some round, some triangular, some square, in short of 
all imaginable variety of shapes. Some are furnished with sharp 
prickles, as in the perch and sole ; some have smooth edges as in the 
tench and cod fish, — and even in the same fish there is a considera- 
ble variety : for the scales taken from the belly, the back, the sides, 
the head, and other parts, are all different from each other. In the 
scale of a haddock we perceive one piece of delicate mechanism ; 
in the scale of a perch another ; and in the scale of a sole beauties 
different from both. We find some of them ornamented with a pro- 
digious number of concentric flutings, too near each other and too 
delicate to be easily enumerated. These flutings are frequently 
traversed by others diverging from the centre of the scale, and pro- 
ceedinej from thence in a straight line to the circumference. On 
every fish there are many thousands of these variegated pieces of 

The hairs on the bodies of all animals are found by the microscope to 
be composed of a number of extremely minute tubes, each of which 
has a round bulbous root, by which it absorbs its proper nourishment 
from the adjacent humors ; and these are all different in different 
animals. Hairs taken from the head, the eyebrows, the beard, the 
nostrils, the hand, and other parts of the body, are unlike each other, 
both in the construction of the roots, and the hairs themselves, and 
appear as varied as plants of the same genus but of different species. 

The parts of which the feathers of birds are composed j^resent a 
beautiful diversity of the most exquisite workmanship. There is 
scarcel}^ a feather but contains a million of distinct parts, every one of 
them of regular shape. In a small fibre of a goose quill more than 
1200 downy branches, or small leaves, have been counted on each 
side ; and each apj^eared divided into sixteen or eighteen different 
joints. A very small part of the feather of a peacock, one-thirtieth 
of an inch in length, appears no less beautiful, when viewed through 
the microscope, than the whole feather does to the naked eye — exhib- 
iting a multitude of bright, shining parts, reflecting first one color 
and then another, in the most vivid manner. 

The wings of all kinds of insects, too, present an astonishing 


variety, and no less captivating to the mind than pleasing to the eye. 
They appear strengthened and distended by the finest bones, and 
covered with the thinnest membranes. Some of them are adorned 
with neat and beautiful feathers, and many of them provided 
with the most symmetrical articulations and foldings for the wings 
when they are to be withdrawn and folded up in their cases. The 
thin membranes of the wings appear beautifully divaricated with 
thousands of little points like silver studs. The wings of some flies 
are filmy, as the dragon-fly ; others have them stuck over with short 
bristles, as the flesh-fly ; some have rows of feathers along their 
ridges, and borders round their edges, as in the gnats ; some have 
hairs and others hooks, placed with the greatest regularity and order. 
In the wings of moths and butterflies there are millions of small 
feathers of different shapes, diversified with the greatest variety of 
bright and lively colors, each of them so small as to be altogether 
invisible to the naked eye. The leaves of all plants and flowers, 
when examined by the microscope, are found to be full of innumer- 
able ramifications, corresponding to the closely interwoven network 
of veins on the surface of the human body, whose office is to convey 
the perspirable juices to the pores, and to consist of the barenchymous 
and ligneous fibres, interwoven in a curious and admirable manner. 
The smallest leaf, even one which is little more than visible to the 
naked eye, is found to be thus divaricated, and the variegations are 
different in the leaves of different vegetables. The way in which 
the leaves are veined is also another means, beside that of the hori- 
2?ontal sectional aspect of the trunk or stem, of determining the class 
of flowering vegetable to which their plants belong. If the veins 
run parallel to each other on the leaf, the plant belongs to the endo- 
genous class ; if they are reticulated, or interlacing each other in all 
directions, it belongs to the exogenous. Thus, referring to the leaf 
of the iris, you find that it is of an endogenous, or within-growing, 
plant ; and you know by the same kind of examination that the 
melon is an exogenous, or without-growing, plant. 

A transverse section of a plant not more than one-fourth of an 
inch in diameter, when viewed through a powerful microscope, dis- 
plays such beauties as cannot be conceived without ocular inspection. 
The number of pores of all sizes, amounting to hundreds of thou- 
sands, which are the vessels of the plant cut asunder, the beautiful 
curves they assume, and the radial and circular configurations they 
present in endogenous plants are truly astonishing ; and not only 
the two great classes but every distinct species of plants exhibit a 
different configuration. There have been counted in a small section 
of a plant, of the size above stated, 5000 radial lines, each containing 


about 250 pores, great and small, which amount to one million two 
hundred and fifty thousand of these variegated apertures. 

Even the particles of sand on the sea shore, and on the rivers' 
banks, differ as to the size, form and color of their grains ; some 
being transparent, others opaque ; some having rough, and others 
smooth surfaces ; some are spherical or oval, and some pyramidal, 
conical, prismatical, or polyhedral. Mr. Hooke happening to view 
some grains of white sand through his microscope, hit incidentally 
upon one of the grains which was exactly shaped and wreathed like 
a shell, though it was no larger than the point of a pin. " It re- 
sembled," says he, " the shell of a small water-snail, and had twelve 
wreathings, all growing proportionately one less than another to- 
wards the middle or centre of the shell, where there was a very small, 
round, white spot." This gives evidence of the existence of shell- 
fish, which are invisible to the naked eye ; and therefore smaller than 
a mite. 

The variety of forms in which animal life appears, which the mi- 
croscope enables us to explore, is indeed wonderful. Microscopic 
animals are so different from those of the larger kind, that scarcely 
any similarity seems to exist between them; and from a limited 
knowledge of them, one would be almost tempted to suppose that 
they live in accordance with laws directly opposite to those which 
preserve man and all other animals in existence. When we begin our 
explorations in this region of animate nature, we feel as if we were 
entering upon the confines of a new world, and surveying anew race 
of sentient existence. The number of these creatures exceeds all 
human calculation or conception. Many hundreds of species, all 
differing in their forms, habits, and motions, have already been distin- 
guished and described ; but we know that by far the greater part of 
the system of the earth is unexplored, and doubtless forever hid from 
the view of man. They are of all shapes and forms.' Some of them 
appear like minute atoms ; some like spheres or spheroides ; some like 
hand-bells ; some like wheels turning on an axis ; some like double- 
headed monsters ; some like cylinders ; some have worm-like appear- 
ances ; some have horns ; some resemble eels ; some are like long hairs, 
150 times as long as they are broad ; some like spires and cupolas ; 
some like fishes : and some like animated vegetables. Some of them 
are almost visible to the naked eye ; and some so small that the 
breadth of a human hair would cover fifty or a hundred of them ; and 
others are so minute that millions on millions of them might be con- 
tained within the space of a sqiaare inch. In every pond and ditch, and 
in every puddle ; in the infusions of pepper, straw, grass, oats, hay, 
and other vegetables ; in paste and vinegar, and in water found in 


oysters ; on almost every plant, and flower ; and in the rivers, seas, 
and oceans, these creatures are found in such numbers and variety, 
as altogether exceed our conceptions. A class of these animals, called 
Medusae, has been found, so numerous as to discolor the ocean itself. 
Captain Scoresby found the number in the olive green sea to be im- 
mense. A cubic inch contained 94 ; and consequently a cubic mile 
would contain 23,909,000,000,000,000, or nearly 24 thousand bil- 
lions ; so that if one person could count a million in seven days, it 
would have required that over 76,000 persons should have begun 
6,000 years ago, in order to have completed the enumeration at the 
present time. Yet, all the minute animals to which we now allude 
are furnished with numerous organs of life, as well as the larger 
kinds. Some of their internal movements are distinctly perceived ; 
their motions are evidently voluntary, and some of them appear to be 
possessed of a considerable degree of sagacity, and to be fond of each 
others' society. It may in short be unhesitatingly affirmed that the 
beauties and varieties which exist in those regions of the earth which 
are invisible to the unassisted eye are far more numerous than what 
appear to a common observer in the visible domain of nature. How far 
this scene of creating power and intelligence may extend beyond the 
range of our miscroscopic instruments it is impossible for us to deter- 
mine ; for the more perfect our glasses are, and the higher the mag- 
nifying power we apply, the more numerous and diversified are the 
objects which they discover to our view. And as the most perfect 
telescope is, and ever will be, insufficient to convey our view to the 
boundaries of the great universe, so we may justly conclude that the 
most powerful microscope that has been, or ever will be, constructed, 
will be altogether insufficient to guide our view to the utmost limits 
of the descending scale of creation. 

But the knowledge we already possess of these invisible and in- 
explorable regions gives us an amazing conception of the wisdom and 
intelligence of the Creator, of the immensity of His nature, and of 
the infinity of ideas which during all time existed in His all-compre- 
hensive mind. What immense space in the scale of animal life in- 
tervenes between an animal which appears only the size of a visible 
point, when magnified 500,000 times, and a whale a hundred feet 
long, and twenty broad ! The proportion of bulk between one of 
these beings and the other is nearly 34,560,000,000,000,000,000 to 1, 
or over thirty-four trillions and a half to one. Yet all the inter- 
mediate space is filled up with animated beings of every form and 

A similar variety obtains in the vegetable kingdom. It has been 
calculated that some plants which grow on rose leaves and other 


shrubs are so small that it would require more than a thousand of 
them to equal in bulk a single plant of moss ; and if we compare a 
stem of moss, which is generally not above one sixtieth of an inch, 
with some of the large trees in Brazil and California, of twenty feet 
diameter, we shall find the bulk of the one to exceed that of the other, 
no less than 26,969,706,000,000, which, multiplied by 1,000, will pro- 
duce 26,969,706,000,000,000, or nearly 27 thousand billions of times, 
which the large tree exceeds the roseleaf plant in size. Yet this im- 
mense interval is filled up with plants and trees of everj^ form and 
size. With good reason then may we repeat the language of the 
Psalmist, with reference to the Deity : " How manifold are thy 
works, O Lord ! In wisdom hast thou made them all. Marvellous 
things doeth He, which we cannot comprehend." 

On Crystallization. 

The subject of crystallization is one which is also of great inter- 
est, and in which there is great variety of forms of matter displayed. 
When a mineral from any cause has been deprived of its cohesion, 
and its particles separated, if the particles are permitted to associate 
themselves again to form a solid, in such a way that they can follow 
their own inclination, the solid will indicate its being constructed 
according to certain laws ; that is to say, the force of cohesion oper- 
ating in the new formation does not act equally in all directions, but 
in the great majority of cases sets itself to construct regular geome- 
trical solids, called crystals. For illustration, if any ordinary salt, 
common salt, or salt-petre, or alum, be added to boiling water until 
the water will dissolve no more, and a bunch of threads be suspended 
in this solution, and allowed to stand all night, in the morning the 
string will be found covered all over with crystals. If common salt 
be used the crystals will be cubes ; if alum they will be four-sided 
pyramids, placed base to base. The larger the quantity of solution, 
and the more slowly it cools, the larger will be the crystals ; muddy 
solutions also increase their size. The presence of a substance which 
does not crystallize with the salts may modify the shape of the crys- 
tals ; thus, if in the solution of common salt urea be present, the 
crystals will no longer be cubes, but, like those of alum, octahedra. 

The peculiarities of crystallization are many. We might almost 
say that crystals in their formation exlnbit signs of instinct. If a 
damaged crystal be suspended in a saturated solution of the salt 
which composes it, the salt out of the solution Avill begin to repair 
the damage, so that in a little while the general contour of the crys- 
tal will be restored. If in a solution there be small and large crys- 



tals, and the solution by an alteration of temperature be made alter- 
nately saturated and non-saturated, it will be found that the small 
crystals become entirely dissolved, while the large crystals grow. 
Crystals may also be obtained from a vapor condensing ; sulphur, 
arsenic, and iodine, afford examples of this ; or fi-om a liquid cool- 
ing. If, for example, six or eight pounds of sulphur of bismuth be 
melted and allowed to cool, if, when a crust has been formed on it, 
the crust be removed, and the yet liquid substance be poured out, 
the cavity of the vessel will be found lined with crystals ; and often 
when a metal has been molten, and in its cooled state exhibits no signs 
of crystallization, yet the existence of the phenomenon may be shown 
if a weak solvent be applied to remove those particles which mask 
the formation. If a sheet of tin, while hot, be washed over with a 
weak solution of hydrochloric acid, the crystals which make the tin 
moiree metallique (or cr3-stallized tin plate), and which previously ex- 
isted, will appear. A bar of nickel, placed in dilute nitric acid, be- 
comes covered with tetrahedra, because the acid dissolves the inter- 
vening uncrystallized metal. But, perhaps, the tendencj^ of particles 
to arrange themselves in some order of polarity is most strikingly 
illustrated in solids which are undergoing processes which move 
their particles. For example the axle, or the tire of the wheel, of a 
railway carriage, by constant vibration occasions the particles of 
which it is composed to take positions according to the polarity of 
their kind, and the consequence is that many axles or trees, when 
broken after years of service, exhibit throughout their mass crystals 
of iron. 

Very few persons out of 
the great mass of mankind 
are aware that when they are 
walking on snow they are 
treading beneath their feet 
the most beautiful crystals. 
Snow is all composed of crys- 
tals in which, though a great 
diversity of figure is apparent, 
yet all the angles are equal, 
being those of an equilateral 

triangle, sixty degrees ; and it is the angles which are the constants 
in crystallography ; these never vary ; but the faces of the same form 
of crystal are always equally inclined. When a flake of snow is 
examined by a magnifying glass, the whole of it will appear to be 
composed of fine shining specula, diverging like rays from a centre. 
Many of the snow crystals are of a regular figure, for the most part 


stars of six points, and are as perfect and transparent ice as any we 
see on a pond or river. Their forms present an almost endless 
variety, are often very regular and beautiful, and reflect with exceed- 
ing splendor the rays of the sun. This is the reason Avhy snow 
appears white, the light being reflected from every angle and face of 
the infinite number of crystals. The crystals of snow vary from 
one third to one thirty-fourth of an inch in diameter, in the natural 
size. Ice, as we have had occasion to remark before, is crystallized 
water, just as snow is crystallized water from vapor in the air. See 
annexed figure. 

A very slight acquaintance with crystals will assure the observer 
that those of the same mineral have a close relationship to each 
other, whenever the same forms are studied. The law of symmetry 
is one of the principles upon which creation is carried on. It is ob- 
servable in every organic structure that about a certain plane or cer- 
tain planes the structure is built up. For example, a plane passing 
down through the centre of the human frame would divide the body 
into two similar halves. So with crystals they are all arranged sym- 
metrically about imaginary lines ; and according to the arrangement 
of these axes of symmetry crystals are divided into six classes or 

1st. The Manometries Regular^ Tessular, or Cubic, System has three 
axes of symmetry, all equal, and all at right angles to each other. 
About these axial lines the crystal is symmetrically built up, so that 
when heated it expands equally in all directions, and transmits light 
without refracting the rays. The primary figures of this system may 
be found by causing planes to pass perpendicularly through the ex- 
tremities of the axis. This will produce the cube. The other pro- 
minent figure of the system, the octahedron, is formed by causing 
eight planes to pass through the three extremities of the axes. The 
reader will easily conceive of two tetrahedral, or four-sided, pj'ramids, 
being joined to each other base to base, which is the form of this oc- 
tahedron. By combining these two primary figures in various pro- 
portions a series of crystals may be produced. It is proper here to 
remark that this combination we speak of is only imaginary, for all 
the forms of crystals are natural, and that by this imaginary combi- 
ning and modifying the prominent forms of each system a series of 
crystals appear for each system, which are called secondary crystalline 
forms, which only means that they are forms which are scarce in the 
system as compared with the primary or prominent forms. The 
following are the forms of this system and the minerals which crys- 
tallize into it : 


The tetrahedron, in which form grey copper crystallizes, 

(Fluor Spar "l 

RodT-Salt I Crystallize 

Iron P^" rites j 

The Octahedron (Primary) " i SDinell Cryatalliza 

The Cube Octahedron " Galena (ore of Lead) " 

The Rhombic Dodecahedron " Garnet " 

The six-faced Tetrahedron " . .• Diamond '• 

The six-faced Octahedron " Garnet " 




Figures 56, 57, 58 represent the primary. 
5a 60 

/^jipf ^T^^ 

Figures 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, the secondary forms 
of this system. 



2nd class : The Dimetric, Right Square ; Prismatic or Pyramidal 
system has also three axes all at right angles to each other ; but one 
axis is longer than the other two. The prism and the double-pyram- 
idal octahedron are the usual primary forms of this system, and it 
has also its secondary forms. The following minerals are known tc 
crystallize into this system : Tinstone, ferrocyanide of Potassium, 
cyanide of Mercury, rutile, anatase, and idocrase. 









/^'^ [^ 

y ^^ 


Figures 69, 70, 71, 72, represent the 

primary ; and 73, 74 the secondary forms of this system. 

3rd Class : The Trimetric, Right Rectangular, or Prismatic system. 
This system has three axes all at right angles, but all unequal. The 
primary forms in this system are the rectangular prism, and the oc- 
tahedron. It has also its secondary forms. Nitre, aragonite, topaz, 
sulphate of 



Baryta, sulphur, and stilbite crystallize in this system. Figures 75, 
, represent the principal forms of this system. 




4th Class : The Monoclinic, or Oblique system. The axes of this 
system are unequal in length, like the last ; but two of them intersect 
each other, not at right angles. The effect of this is that the base 
of the prism or octahedron, which are the principal forms of this 
system, is a parallelogram of unequal sides. Green vitriol, sulphate 
of soda, phosphate of soda, sulphur, crystallized from its melted 
state, and borax, crystallize in this system. Figures 77, 78, 79 will 
give the idea of this system. 






5th Class : The TricUnie, Doubly Oblique, or Anorthic system. 
This system has also three unequal axes, but none of them intersect 
at right angles. The prism and the octahedron are the primary 
forms, but these are necessarily different in form from the preceding j 
and there are secondary forms. But few minerals appear to crys- 
tallize, in this system. The most common are blue vitriol (sulphate 

of copper), labradorite, anorthite, and aximite. Fisfures 80 and 81 
show the octahedron and the prism of this system. 

6th Class : The Hexagonal, and Rhombohedral System. The 
crystals of this system have four axes, three of them in the same 
plane and intersecting at angles of sixty degrees, and all equal ; the 
fourth perpendicular to these, and varying in length. By the sup- 
posed joining of the extremities of these axes a hexagon is formed, 
which is the base of a prism (therefore six-sided), and of a hexagonal 
dodecahedron. These primary forms appear in snow crystals, beryl, 
tourmaline, and nitrate of soda, and the very common quartz crystals, 
which almost every one has seen, are generally six-sided prisms, termin- 
ated by six-sided pyramids. This system is also called the Rhombo- 




liedral, from the fact that the rhomb, so admirably shown in calc- 
spar, is the hemihedral form of the hexagonal dodecahedi'on ; that is, 
if the alternate faces of the double, six-sided pyramid be supposed 
produced, they will form a six-sided solid, which appears in figure 
84. Figures 82, 83, represent the principal forms of this system. 

Almost all minerals crystallize into some one of these systems. 
For example, gold, silver, copper, and platina are found to crystallize 
in the first or monometric, system. A sublime display of crj'stalliza- 
tion is seen in some places on the earth's surface. A visit to the 
island of Staffa, in Scotland, and to the Giant's CauscAvay, in Ireland, 
would be amply repaid to one who liked to inspect and contemplate 
such sublime natural wonders. 

In order that some of the words which we have found it neces- 
sary to use in this short description of crystallization may be under- 
stood by all our readers, we may explain that monometric signifies 
Iiaving one measurement, or equal measurement, the monometric 
:system being distinguished by equality of axes. Dimetric signifies 
iiaving two measurements, crystals in this sj^stem having one longer 
axis and two shorter ones, which latter two are of the same length. 
Trimetric signifies harving three measurements, the crystals of this 
system having three axes; all of which differ in length. Monoclinic 
signifies having one sloping axis, cr3'stals of this system having one 
axis, which is not rectangular to the other two. Tiiclinic signifies 
having three axes at oblique angles to one another. Hexagonal 
(signifies six-sided, or six angled. Dodecahedral signifies having 
■twelve sides. Rhombohedral signifies having its sides in the form of 
•a rhombus, from a figure whose four sides are equal, but its angles 
;are not right angles. 


But all this scene of beauty and, all these natural wonders we 
"have been contemplating need the agency of light to make them ap- 
parent. Light, as we have before remarked, is essential not onl}^ to 
the existence and growth of plants and animals, but also to the 


phenomena of colors. It is a manifestation of a substance which is 
universally present, but needs to be in certain conditions of chemical 
action in order that the light be made manifest. It radiates from a 
luminous object in straight lines in all directions, and all objects are 
seen by its reflection from their surfaces. The reflection of the rays 
of light is that property by which, after striking the surfaces of 
bodies, they are driven back or repelled. It is, therefore, in conse- 
quence of this property that all the objects around us, and all the 
divei'sified landscapes on our globe are rendered visible. When light 
impinges or strikes upon a surface, — say, for illustration, a polished 
surface, rather more than half of it is thrown back or reflected in a 
direction similar to that of its approach; that is to say, if it fall per- 
pendicularly upon a surface it will \>q perpendicularly reflected ; but, 
if it fall obliquely, it will be reflected with the. name obliquity. Hence 
the following fundamental law, regarding the reflection of light has 
been deduced both from experiment and mathematical demonstration, 
namely, that the angle of reflection is, in all cases, exactly equal to the 
angle of incidence* Thus if a ray of solar light be admitted into a 
dark room through a hole in the window-shutter, the ray will pass 
straight through to the opposite wall, and by its reflexion from the 
wall throw a certain amount of light round the whole room. Thus 
the whole room is to a certain degree lighted, although not with 
the direct rays of the sun,. Also, if the window be not situated 
dir-ectly opposite to the sun, the rays of light which enters must it- 
self be a ray of light reflected from the atmosphere, or from some 
outside objects. This la^t ray, however, when admitted, passes 
tlirough as a direct ray to the opposite Avail, and is again reflected. 
Thus it is seen that there is no end to the reflections of light, and 
the atmosphere during the day is one great illuminated ocean, from 
the fact that the solar image is reflected and refracted from every 
portion of it. You see your own image in a looking-glass, moreover, 
by the rays of light from your body being reflected ; and by placing 
two plane mirrors in certain positions in relation to each other and 
to a luminous, object, you can multiply the number of images of an 

* Let A B represent a plane mirror, and C D a line 
or ray of light, perpendicular to it. Let E D be the inci- 
dent ray, from any object; then D F will be the reflected 
Riy, thrown back in the direction D F; and it will make, 
■witl\ the perpendicular C D, the same angle which the in- 
cident ray E D does with the same perpendicular; that is, 
• tlie angle F D C is equal to the angle E D C, in all cases 
of obliquity; the perpendicular ray being, of course, per- 
pendicularly reflected. The way we see our faces and 
our persons in a looking-glass, is illustrated by figure 87. 



object indefinitely. In the case too of your image being reflected 
from a looking-glass, the angle of reflection is equal to that of in- 
cidence; for your image seems to form the same angle with the glass 
behind it, as you do before it ; and if you change your position it 
changes also, and maintains the same angle as you do in relation to 
the glass. 

While light, when proceeding from a luminous body, without 
being reflected from any opaque substance, or inflected by passing 
near one, is invariably fou)id to proceed in straight lines, without 
the least deviation, 3'et, if it pass obliquely from one medium to an- 
other, it always deviates from its original course, and takes a new 
one. This change of direction, or bending of the rays of light, is 
what is termed refraction, from the Latin ward frangere, to break or 
to bend. The angle of refraction depends upon the obliquitj" of the 
rays falling upon the refracting surface, being always such that the 
sine of the incident angle is to the sine of the refracted angle in a 
given proportion.* The incident angle is the angle made by a ray of 

Let A B represent a mirror, and O C a person 
looking into it. If we conceive a ray, proceed- 
ing from the forehead C E, it will be reflected 

Fig. 88. 

to the eye at 0, agreeably to the angle of inci- 
dence and reflection, but the mind puts CEO 
into one line, and the forehead is seen at H, as 
if the lines CEO had turued on a hinge at E. 
It is a peculiar faculty of the mind to put two oblique lines, C E and E, into one straight line 
O H: yet, it is seen every time we look at ourselves in a mirror. For the ray really strikes the 
mirror from C at E, and tlieuce strikes the eye at : and it is that journey which determines 
the distance of the object; and hence we see our image as far behind the mirror as we stand 
before it Though a ray is liere taken only from one part of the face, it may be easily con- 
ceived that rays from every part of the face must produce a similar effect 

In every plane mirror, the image is always equal to the object, at which distance soever it 
may be placed; and as the mirror is only at half the distance of the image from the eye. it will 
completely receive an image of twice its own length. Hence a man six feet in height may view 
himself completely from tip to toe in a looking-glass of three feet in height, and half his own 
breadth ; and this will be the case at whatever distance he may stand from the mirror, as is 
shown in figure 88. 

* For illustration of refraction: Let A D H I, fig. 89, be a body of water, A D its surface, 
C a point in which a ray of light, B C, enters from the air into the water. This ray, by the 
greater density of the water, instead of passing straight forward in its first direction to K, will 
be bent at the point C, and pass along in the direction C E. which is called the refracted ray. 
Let the line F G be drawn perpendicular to the surface of the water in C ; then it is evident that 


light and a line drawn perpendicular to the refracting surface, at the 
point where the light eiitefs the new medium. The refracted angle 
is the angle made by the ray iu the refracted medium with the same 
perpendicular pioduced. The sine of the angle is a line which serves 
to measure the angle, being drawn from a point in one side perpen- 
dicular to the other. 

On the principle of refraction, you may, by means of a multiplying 
glass, see as many images of a luminous object as the glass has different 
surfaces. If the multiplying glass have twenty different surfaces, you see 
twenty different images ; or, if the surfaces could be cut and polished 
so small that it has five hundred surfaces then you see five hundred 
images of the same luminous object. Thus, it is seen, the light of a 
given luminous object will be the more diffused, the more surfaces there 

the ray B C, in passing out of the air, a rare medium, into a dense medium, as water, is refracted 
into a ray C E, which is nearer to the perpendicular C G than the incident ray B C; and, on the 
contrary, the ray E C passing' out of a denser medium into a rarer, is refracted into C B, which 
is farther from the perpendicular. 

The same thing may be otherwise illustrated, as follows : — Suppose a hole be made in one of 
the sides of the vessel, as at A, and a lighted candle placed within two or three feet of it, when 
empty, so that its flame may be at L; a ray of light proceeding from it will pass through the 
hole A in a straight line, L B C K, until it reach the bottom of the vessel at K, where it will 
form a small circle of light. Having put a mark at the point K, pour water into the vessel until 
it rise to the height A D; and the spot of light which was formerly at K will appear at E; that 
is, the ray which went straight forward when the vessel was empty to K, has been bent at the 
point C, where it strikes the water, into the line C E. In this experiment it will be necessary 
that the front of the vessel be of glass, in order that the course of the ray may be seen ; and if 
a little soap be mixed witli the water, so as to give it a little mistiness, the ray C E will be dis- 
tinctly perceived. If, instead of fresh water, we fill the vessel with salt water, it will be found 
that the ray B C is more bent at C. 

In like manner alcohol will refract the ray B C more than salt water, and oU more than 
alcohol; and a piece of solid glass, of the shape of the water, will refract the ray still more than 
the oil. Further explanation : In this figure B C is the incident 
ray, F G the perpendicular, B F the sine of the angle of inci- Fig. 8 •> 

deuce B C F, and G £ the sine of the angle of refraction G CE. 
Now, it is a proijosition that the sine B F, of the angle of inci- 
dence B C F, is either accurately, or very nearly, in a given pro- 
portion to the sine G E of tlie angle of refraction G C E. This 
ratio of the sines is as 4 to 3 when the refraction is made out of 
air into water; that is, B F: G E:: 4: 3. When the refraction 
is made out of air into glass, the proportion is about as 31 to 20, 
or nearly as 3 to 2. If the refraction be out of air into diamond, 
it is as 5 to 2; that is, B F: G E:: 5: 2. The denser the medium 
is the less is the angle and sine of refraction. If a ray of light, F G, were to pass from air into 
water, or empty space into air, iu the direction C F, perpendicular to the plane A D, which 
separates the two mediums, it would suffer no refraction, because one of the essentials to that 
effect is wanting; namely, the obliquity of the incidence. 

The refraction of the atmosphere produces an effect upon the lieavenly bodies that their 
apparent positions are generally different from their real. In consequence of this the sun is 
seen before he comes to the horizon in the morning, and after he has sunk beneath it in the 
evening, and hence this luminary is never seen in the place in which it really is, except in 
places within the torrid zone, when it passes the zenith at noon. The sun is visible when thirty- 
two minutes of a degree below the horizon, and when the opaque curvature of the earth is inter- 
posed between our eye and that orb. 


are for it to be refracted and reflected from. But if a luminous ob- 
ject be completely separated from you by the intervention of an 
opaque body, as is the sun from us during our night by the interven- 
tion of the body of the earth, then you have no light from the lumin- 
ous object. Light passes through all transparent substances, such as 
the atmosphere, water, and glass ; and. in its passage through these 
substances of different densities it is refracted, as we have explained, 
according to certain laws. A body, ordinarily speaking, is said to 
be transparent when every part between its tAvo surfaces is of the 
same density, and therefore the ray of light emerges on the opposite 
side Tn the case of the looking-glass, the ray of light would pass 
through it, being refracted, but for the coating of quicksilver which 
it has on its back, which prevents it passing through, and causes it 
to be reflected. A body is said to be opaque when the parts between 
its two opposite surfaces are of different densities, and so the rays of 
light are destroyed by the many refractions and reflexions, and do 
not emerge on the opposite side. All substances that are not tran- 
sparent are opaque, though there are different degrees both of tran- 
sparency and opacit}'. Light and heat usually accompany each 
other, but light is not always manifested where strong heat is evolved. 
The heat accompanying the solar light is so great that when concen- 
trated on double-convex lenses it will be sufficient to fuse the densest 
metals. Mr. Parker, of Fleet Street, London, once made a burning 
glass three feet in diameter, and when fixed in its frame it exposed a 
clear surface of more than two feet eight inches in diameter, and its 
focus, by means of another lens, was reduced to a diameter of half an 
inch. The heat produced by this lens was so great, that iron plates 
were melted in a few seconds ; tiles and slate became red-hot in a 
moment, and were vitrified, or changed into glass. Sulphur, pitch, 
and other resinous bodies were melted under water ; wood-ashes, 
and those of other vegetable substances, were turned in a moment 
into transparent glass : even gold wns rendered fluid in a few seconds ; 
and notwithstanding the intense heat at the focus, the finger might 
without the slightest injury l)e placed in the cone of ra3"s within an 
inch of the focus. The force of the heat collected in the focus of 
the double-convex glass is to the common heat of the sun as the area 
of the glass is to that of the focus ; it may, of course, be a hundred or 
even a thousand times Greater in the one case than in the othei". 
When a fii-e or a candle burns, or a horse strikes his shoe against a 
stone, light as well as heat is evolved ; but a stack of ha}-, or a pile 
of dry goods, if allowed to stand long enough in a damp condition, 
may be heated to a high pitch without any light being evolved. 
Light is produced in man}' ways artificially, as by chemical action in 



the c< mbiistion of solids, liquids, and gases ; by percussion, as in the 
use of tlie flint and steel, which is called " striking fire," and by the 
electric light, which may be considered the most intense and brilliant 
of all artificial lights. This last is procured from the ignition of two 
points of charcoal through which the current of electricity from a 
powerful battery is passed. But all terrestrial modes of obtaining 
light, such as chemical action, friction, ignition of solids, phosphor- 
escence, crystallization, and the electric light, sink into insignificance 
before the great natural source of light, the sun, the centre of our 
planetary system, and the source both of light and heat to our world. 
Sir John Herschell has estimated that " the sun gives out as much 
lio'ht as 146 lime lishts would do if each ball of lime were as large 
as the sun, and gave out light from all parts of its surface ; and that 
the heat evolved from ever}^ square yard of the sun's surface is as 
great as that which would be produced by the burning of six tons of 
coal on it each hour." 

Although it is said that light is emitted in straight lines from a 
luminous body it must not be understood that a given quantity of 
light goes on continuously in the same bulk or volume ; it is continu- 
ally expanding as it recedes from the point of emission. The areas 
of space filled with it as it proceeds are to each other as the squares 
of their respective distances from the luminous point of emission ; 
and consequently the intensity or illuminating power of the light is 
inversely as the areas. Thus luminous bodies give, at the respective 
distances of two, three, or four yards, a fourth, a ninth, and a six- 
teenth, respectively, of the light they give at one j-ard from them; 
the areas illuminated and filled with the diffusing light being, at 
these several distances, four, nine, and sixteen times as great as at 
one yard distance. It may, therefore, be said more correctly that 
light diffuses itself'uhiversally in expanding volumes, bounded as the 
volumes increase by straight diverging surfaces, which form the 
boundaries of areas whose relative magnitudes are as the square of 
their distances.* The larger the luminous body is, the more space it 
will eniighlen ; and it is plain that the enlightened space will cor- 

* This may be illustrated by the following figure : Suppose that light which flows from 

a candle A, and passes through a square hole B, is 
received upon a plane C, parallel to the plane of 
the hole; or let the figure C be considered as the 
shadow of the jilane B. When the distance of C is. 
double of B the length and breadth of the shadow 
C will be each double of the length and breadth of 
the plane B, and treble when A D is treble of A B, 
and so on. Therefore the surface of the shadow C 
at the distance A C, double of A B, is divisible into four squares, and at a treble distance into 
nine squares severally equal to the square B. The light then which falls upon the plane B, 


Respond in form with the body which enlightens it. Thus, the sun 
"being of globular figure, — and, as we may here, for illustration, sup- 
pose it luminous all over its surface, — enlightens an area, however 
great in extent, of spherical shape ; the space nearest the sun being 
most enlightened, and the light becoming less as the distance from 
it becomes greater. The larger the luminous body is, too, at the 
greater distance will it be s6en by the eye ; also, the larger it appears 
at a given place the more light it will diffuse at that place ; for the 
larger will its image be to be reflected and refracted from all objects; 
and, conversely, the smaller a luminous body appears from a given 
place the less light will it diffuse at that place, for the smaller 
will its image be reflected from all objects. When, therefore, a 
luminous body, of however great a size, is at so great a distance 
from a place as not to be perceivable by the eye, then it gives 
no direct light at that place, from the fact that there is no 
image of it to be reflected. Also, if one was situated beyond 
the range of our atmosphere, away out in the ethereal regions, it 
is determined he would experience no such flood of light as he does 
at the earth's surface, because of the absence of a reflecting medium. 
The denser and rougher in surface bodies are the better in general 
they reflect the light , for the image of the sun is reflected from one 
corner, face, or angle of rough surfaces to the other so as to make 
them more luminous than if they were smooth, though of the same 
density as they are. But the ether which exists beyond the limits 
of our atmosphere being so exceedingly rare, does not reflect the 
image of the sun; and the sun to an observer situated there, would 
appear like a luminous globe placed in a black canopy, and sur- 
rounded on all sides with pitchy darkness. So the stars might ap- 
pear like luminous points scarcely distinguishable,' iii regions of the 
blackest darkness. The appearance of the earth would depend upon 
the distance of the observer from it ; the nearer he would be to the 
earth the more luminous would it appear, the light being reflected 
from its surface and atmosphere. 

On the subject of light, two leading theories have been propounded 
in the philosophic world. Sir Isaac Newton supposed that light was 
corpuscular, or composed of minute particles of a material nature, 

being suffered to pass to double tluit distance, -will be uniformly spread over fonr times the 
space, and consequently will be four times less intense in every part of that space. And at the 
treble distance it will be nine times thinner, and at a quadruple distance sixteen times thinner 
than it was at first. The quantities, therefore, of this rarified lisht received upon a surface of 
any given size and shape, when removed successively to their several distances, will be but 
one-fourth, one-ninth, one-si.xteenth of the whole quantity received by it at the first disUmce 
A B. This law holds good with respect to the quantity of light received by the planets at their 
respective distances from the sun. 


"which are constantly emitted in all directions by luminous bodies. 
This hypothesis was adopted to a great extent, especially by British 
philosophers, but in later times it has given way to the theory of 
Huygens, who assumes that all space is pervaded by an elastic ether, 
the undulatory motions of which, when it is disturbed, manifest 
themselves in light, just as motion in water gives waves, or sound in 
air gives vibrations. Neither of these theories, it was afterwards 
thought, having fully explained the phenomena of light, another ex- 
planation was propounded, which corresponds very much with that 
of Huygens. This is that all space is filled with electricity, the 
elastic ether of Huygens, which, as is known, penetrates all bodies ; 
and that the great ocean of electricity in free space, having nothing 
to compress it, yields freely in all directions, and only undulates 
when passing through other media, such as the atmosphere, where it 
suffers interruption, and also, to a certain extent, absorption. Thus 
far as to the theories. But the fact is that men will be ever chang- 
ing their theories, rejecting old ones and substituting new ones, until 
they have come to a knowledge of the subject concerning which the 
theory is. No false theory will fully satisfy the mind, or last per- 
manently. The phenomenon of light does not depend upon the 
emission of luminous particles from luminous bodies, nor does it 
necessarily depend upon all space being filled with a substance of 
any particular name such as ether, electricity, or any other name, 
provided it be a transparent and reflecting medium fitted to transmit 
the rays of light, as it is ; but it consists simply in this, the infinite 
multiplication of the image of the luminous object by reflection and 
refraction from the media on all sides of it and to all visible distances 
from it. It depends simply upon this, that a luminous body exists, 
and is within visible distance, and then the amount of light places 
possess will depend upon the adaptedness or unfitness for reflexion 
of the media of these places.* As to the luminous body itself the 
phenomenon of light arises as does heat from the violent agitation of 
its ultimate elements in their seeking equilibrium by chemical separ- 
ation or combination ; and the production of the light is confined to 
the luminous body and is not necessarily common to any illuminated 
body wi£h it. When a body is permanently luminous, as the sun is, 
then the space which it illuminates is always illuminated (unless 
parts of it, Avhich, during certain intervals, are separated from the 
luminous body by the intervention of opaque bodies), and so the light 

* The case of tlie Fixed Stars, whose lisht -wt see, but whose discs are beyond the reach of 
our best telescope, does not permit a contradiction to this explanation. It is their image infin- 
itely multiplied by reflexion and refraction which we see, and they are visible in this way. But 
there are infinite numbers of .stars so remote that their light never reaches us. 


cannot be said to occupy any time in passing from one point of that 
space to another, or from the luminous body to any point of that 
space, as the common theories suppose, one of which has it to travel 
at the rate of nearly 200,000 miles a second. This theory is based 
upon deductions which have been drawn from observations made 
upon the satellites of Jupiter, at the time of their emergence from an 
eclipse. From these observations it was determined that it took the 
light a certain length of time to reach the earth from the satellites 
after their emergence from behind the body of the planet. But it 
appears quite evident that at the instant of their emergence, coming 
into the flood of solar light, they would be visible fi-om the earth ; 
and that no perceptible time might intervene between their emergence 
and their being seen by an observer on the earth. Light cannot be 
said to occupy any time in moving through a space in which it is 
constantly present. The reason why Ave do not always experience 
the light of the sun is because we are prevented from doing so by the 
intervention of the body of the earth between us and the sun during 
night-time, or by the intervention of some other object between us 
and the sun. But when the morning has come, and the sides of the 
earth on which we live has come round to face the sun ; or when an}^ 
other body, which has shut out from us the light of the sun, has been 
removed, and that luminary shines with a clear face, we can see him 
just in the same time as it takes us to see our neighbor standing at 
our elbow. No perceptible time intervenes between our opening 
our eyes to see the sun and our seeing him, although we are certainly 
separated from that luminary over ninety millions of miles. Nor 
does it take the light of any of the stars that are visible to us any 
length of time to travel from them to us. The liglit of the stars vis- 
ible to us is always present to the earth, and we only need to be on 
the side of the earth facing those stars, on a clear night, in order to 
see them instantly. The only condition necessary to our seeing the 
star instantly is for the star to be visible, and we then may see it in 
the same length of time it takes us to see the sun when that luminary 
is visible ; that is, when our eyeis are opened and directed towards it, 
no time at all ; although it may be more than a thousand millions of 
times the distance from us that the sun is. A lighted candle, it is 
said, can illuminate a space of 4 cubical miles ; that is, a spherical 
space whose dia-raeter is 1| miles, the candle being placed in the 
centre. This candle, therefore, would be seen by an observer placed 
at anv point in that space, say any extremity of a radius ; and neither 
would it take the light any time to reach his eye, nor would there 
necessarily be any luminous particles emitted by the candle towards 
his eye. But the image of the candle is present in every point in the 


space, and is reflected from all the reflecting media. The nearer the 
observer is to the candle the larger it appeal's, and the more intense 
is its light; the farther he removes from it the smaller it appears, and 
the less intense the light becomes, until finally the candle vanishes 
entirely from his sight, and there is no perceptible light from it in 
the surro-unding space. So it is evident that when, on their emergence 
from behind the body of the planet, a sufficiently large portion of the 
surface of Jupiter's satellites has become enlightened to render them 
visible to a telescopic observer at the earth (for these satellites 
are not discernible by the naked eye) ; no perceptible time need in- 
tervene until he sees them, provided no other body, as clouds, inter- 
vene to obstruct his view of them.* 

Nor is electricity found to occupy any perceptible time in travel- 
ling, by means of wires, to any distance on the earth's surface ; that 
is, the instant the message is sent by the telegraph operator, that 
same instant it is received at the other end of the wire, if the distance 
be over twelve thousand miles, or half the earth's circumference. 
The furthest point on the earth's surface, reckoning from any given 
place, is somewhat over twelve thousand miles, or half the earth's 

The reader will be likely to observe himself, the absurdity of the 
theory which supposed light to be dependent upon tlie emission of 
luminous particles from a luminous body ; for, for example, not a 
particle of the matter of which the sun is composed can ever go be- 
yond the range of his immediate attraction ; that is, every particle of 
the matter of which that body consists always did and always will 
belong to him ; he cannot lose it. Secondly, he will see the absurdity 
of supposing that luminous particles of matter could penetrate 
through thick plates of glass or other transparent substances, which 
admit the light so freely, as windows, double or multiple ; or the glass 
globes which surround our common lamps ; or diamond, one of the 
hardest known substances. But, as we have said before, light is only 
a phenomenon, the image of the luminous object infinitely multiplied 
as well as the object itself, as far as the manifestation of light is 
concerned; while, on the other hand, the substance of which light is 
a manifestation may be called electricity, or any other name one 
pleases. It is everywhere present, and manifests the light when the 
conditions necessary for that manifestation exist. All bodies possess 

* When immense distances are considered, it indeed appears reasonable that the pas- 
sage of light requires time proportionate to the distance.! Those who may understand 
it in this way I do not disagree vvitli ; although little of that belief is uecessiiry to those w no 
consider tlie lieavenly suns as permanently luminous. 

t See " Light and Electricity," by Tyudal. 


in themselves, to a greater or less extent, the principle of light and 
of heat. But it mostly exists in a latent state in terrestrial bodies, 
needing to be called into action in order that it become apparent. 
These principles exist in an active state in the sun ; and, therefore 
that luminary is the great source not only of light but of heat to the 
earth.* That part of the earth situated most favorably towards him 
receives the greatest quantity of his light and heat. The space which 
is constantly filled with the solar light is as constantly filled with the 
solar heat, and the reason we do not experience as much light and 
heat at one season of the year as we do at another is because the 
situation of the earth in relation to the sun does not admit of it. The 
earth is more than three millions of miles nearer the sun in Decem- 
ber than in June, yet we have less light and heat in the former 
season than in the latter, owing to the parts of the earth which we 
occupy being turned away from the sun, or in other words, being 
situated more obliquely towards him. The earth is a dense body 
situated in the mighty ocean of the solar light, as a theatre upon 
which he may display his exhaustless power and energy, and give 
animation, beauty and sublimity, to every surrounding scene. 

The Prism. 

The prism is the most important and instructive of all optical 
lenses and it has enabled philosophers to add what may be called 
another branch of science, " Spectrum Analysis," to those already 
known. This instrument is triangular, and generally about three 
or four inches long. It is commonly made of white glass, as free as 
possible from veins, and bubbles, and other similar defects and solid 
throughout. Its lateral faces and sides are perfectly plane and finely 
polished. The angle formed by the two faces, one receiving the ray 
of light that is refracted in the instrument, and the other giving it an 
issue on its return into the air, is called the refracting angle of the 
prism. By means of this triangular piece of glass we are enabled to 
decompose and analyze a ray of light, and, from the knowlege so 
obtained, to account for the phenomena of colors. If a ray of light, 
proceeding directly from the sun, be admitted through a circular 
hole, half an inch in diameter, into a room, the walls of which should 
be as dark as possible, or hung with black calico, and a prism inter- 
sect it near the window, the ray will cease to go forward in a straight 
line, being refracted, or bent a little upwards out of its original di- 

* Modem research has placed it beyond a doubt that heat is a mode of motion of the ulti- 
mate element of bodies. Thus, the great heat of the sun arises from the continued vialent 
agitation of the elements of that immense body propagated to the earth and through space by 
u-eans of the agitated ether. 



rection, and will be decomposed, and exhibit, on a white screen placed 
opposite to the window to receive it, a beautiful spectrum, consisting 
of seven colors, beginning below and extending upwards in order of 
red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. If the refracting 
auo-le of the prism A C B, in the figure,* be sixty four degrees, and 
the distance of the white screen from the prism eighteen feet, the 
leno-th of the imao-e will be about ten inches, and the breadth two 
inches. This oblong image is called the prismatic spectrum, and in 
it the red color is least, and the violet the most bent from the original 
direction of the solar beam. The sides of the spectrum are right 
lines distinctly bounded ; and the ends are semi-circular. This cir- 
cumstance shows that it is still the image of the sun, but elongated 
by the refractive power of the prism. By an ordinary glass prism, 
such as those used for glass lustres, the margins of the colors are nut 
clearly defined, but seem to melt or mix, the one into the other. If 
a hollow glass prism filled with bisulphide of carbon be used, the 
seven colors of the spectrum are much more clearly defined. Sir 
Isaac Newton made this interesting and important discovery, that 
white light is a compound of rays of various kinds, having different 
colors, and indices of refraction ; and that all the substances which 
appear colored when illuminated with white light, derive their colors 
only from a kind of " natural selection," that is, they may reflect 
certain colored rays and absorb or transmit others. He however, 
concluded, from various experiments on this subject, tJiat every sub- 
stance in nature, provided it he reduced to the requisite degree of thin- 
ness, is transparent. This is plain also, from the fact that all sub- 
stances are of a nature reducible to an invisible gas. Many transpar- 

* The separation of a ray of wliite liglit into different colors, by refraction, may be more 
accurately understood as represented in fi|j;ure 91, where a ray of light is admitted through an 
aperture F in a window-shutter into a darkened chamber, and causing it to fall on the prism 
ABC. A ray, D, thus entering, and suffered to pass unobstructed, would form on a plane 
surface a circular disc of white light E; but the prism being so placed tliat the ray may enter 
and quit it at equal angles, it will be refracted in such a manner as to form on a screen M Ni 
properly placed, an oblong image, called the solar spectrum, and divided horizonUilly into seven 
colored spaces or bands of unequal extent. The angle A C B is the refracting angle of the 
prism. It is seen that the ends of the spectrum are semicircular. 


Violet. . 
Indigo. . 
Blue- . . 
Green. . 
Red. . . 


ent media reflect one color and transmit another ; gold leaf reflects 
the yellow, but it transmits a sort of green color by holding it up 
against a strong light. 

Light is said to be the source of all colors ; but, if the principle 
of light is inherent in all substances, how can it be said that colors 
are not inherent in them ? Light itself is in every case, a manifesta- 
tion of matter. The matter which gives rise to the light is sometimes 
as in the case of carburetted hydrogen gas, itself invisible ; yet when 
properly examined, the light proceeding from it displays all colors, 
and renders them apparent in all other objects. The colors displayed 
by different objects, owing to their peculiar adaptedness for absorbing 
or reflecting certain of the colors of light, are various, and of differ- 
ent degrees of intensity ; but the colors displayed by light in the 
prism are permanently the same, only, it may be, differing slightly 
in their intensity, according to the source whence the light is 

When the solar spectrum, obtained as already described, is thrown 
upon a white screen, it is amusing to see the effect of different colored 
rays upon different pigments; and if slips of colored paper be used 
the results are very distinct. By passing the ray of white light 
through two prisms, inverted to each other, and filled with bisulphide 
of carbon, the spectrum may be made to stretch much farther across the 
screen, and the sunbeam undergoes by the double refraction a greater 
amount of dispersion. The colors are now more clearly separated, 
and the experiments with the slips of colored paper or other pig- 
ments, can be made with much greater facility. The drawing apart 
or separation of the colors is called dispersion, and thus the structure 
may be made shorter or longer, by using prisms of different disper- 
sive ppwertj, Although it is difficult for .the best eyes to point out 
the exact boundaries of each color. Sir Isaac Newton concluded after 
repeated experiments, that the lengths of the colors with the j)ar- 
ticular glass prism which he used were as follows : Red 45, orange 
27, yellow 40, green 60, blue 60, indigo 48, violet 80; total number 
of equal spaces into which the spectrum was divided, 360"^. By 
making a hole in the screen opposite any one of the colors of the 
spectrum, and placing the screen in such a position as to allow that 
color only to pass, and by letting the color thus separated fall upon 
a second prism, he found that each of the colors was alike refrangible, 
because the second prism could not separate them into an oblong 
image, or into any other color. Hence he called all the seven colors 
simple or homogeaeous, in contradistinction to white light, which he 
called compound or heterogeneous. For he also, ascertained that the 
colors could be brought together, again recombined ; and that the 


result was the recomposition of white light. This syntnesis of color 
is readily shown by using a second prism placed in an inverted po- 
sition to the other, and allowing the ray of light to pass through this, 
or by allowing the colored rays to fall vipon a double-convex lens, 
when they are brought to a focus, and a spot of white light alone is 
visible. The experiment can be varied by mixing seven different 
colored powders together, the colors being, of course, as near as pos- 
sible to those of the solar spectrum; or these colors may be painted 
on a circular piece of cardboard, and when this is properly ad- 
justed, and whirled round with sufficient velocity, the colors seem 
-all blended together, and produce the nearest imitation of white 

If a sunbeam is passed through a double-convex lens^ which rep- 
resents a series of prisms with their bases attached to each other, and 
their thinnest edges outward, it is not to be wondered at that the 
disc of light obtained should be fringed vith colors, because it has 
been shown that a prism decomposes white light. If all the colors 
were of the same refrangibility there would be no fringes of colors 
on the edges of bodies seen through a common telescope or micro- 
scope; but as the focus of the red ray is formed further away from 
the lens than that of the blue ray, because the latter is more refrac- 
tive than the former, it follows that a separation of color must occur, 
which is technically termed chromatic aberration. Newton, however, 
examined the ratio between the sines of incidence and refraction of 
the decompounded raj^s, and found that each of the seven primary 
color-making rays had certain limits within which they were con- 
fined. Thus, let the sine of incidence in glass be divided into 50 
equal, parts, the sine of refraction into air of the least refrangible, 
and the most refrangible rays .will contain respectively 77 and 
78 such Darts. The sines of refraction of all the dearrees of red will 
have the intermediate degrees of magnitude from 77 to 77^ ; orange 
from77ito 77-1; yellow from 77-1- to 77^ ; green from 7 7 J to77i; 
blue from 77i to 77§; indigo from 77§ to 77-^; and violet from 
77^ to 78. From the foregoing statements it is evident, as has been 
shown above in the case of double-convex lenses, that as any portion 
of an optic glass bears a resemblance to the form of a prism, the 
component rays which pass through it must necessarily be separated, 
and will coi^sequently. paint or tinge the object with colors. The 
edges of every convex lens approximate to this form, and it is on 
this account that the edges of objects viewed through them are found 
to be tinged with the prismatic colors. In such a glass, therefore, 
the different colored rays will have different foci, and will form their 
respective images at different distances from the lens. 


The amount of dispersion of the colored rays in convex lenses 
depends upon the focal length of the glass, the spaces which the 
colored images occupy being about the twenty-eighth part. Thus, 
if the lens be twenty-eight inches focal distance, the space between 
the red and the violet colors of the spectrum will be about one inch- 
if it be twenty-eight feet focal distance the same space will be one 
foot, and so on in proportion. When such a succession of images, 
formed b}" the different colored rays is viewed through an eye-glass, 
it will appear to form but one image, and consequentlj- very indis- 
tinct, and fringed with various colors; and as the red color is largest 
or seen under the greatest angle, the extreme parts of the con- 
fused image will be red, and a succession of the prismatic colors will 
be formed within this red fringe, as is generally formed in common 
refracting telescopes, constructed with a single object-glass. To this 
circumstance it is owing that the common refracting telescope cannot 
be much improved without having recourse to lenses of very long 
focal distance ; and hence about 180 years ago such telescopes were 
constructed of 80,100, and 120 feet focal length. But still the image 
was not formed so distinctly as desired, and the aperture of the 
object-glass had to be limited. This is a defect which was long 
regarded as without a remedy, and even Newton himself despaired 
of discovering any means by which the defects of refracting telescopes 
might be remedied, and their improvement effected. But this diffi- 
cult}- has been most ingeniously surmounted by combining lenses of 
unequal dispersive material ; and it was Mr. Dollond who proved in 
1757 that by combining a concavo-convex lens of flint glass with a 
double-convex one of crown glass a lens was obtained which virtuall}^ 
refracts the various colored rays to one focus, and is, therefore, achro- 
matic, that is, free from color. For absolute achromatism various 
lenses are necessary, but for all practical purposes two are found to 
be sufficient, provided their curvatures are such as to combine the 
3'ellow and red rays. 

It was originally observed by Newton, and the fact has since 
been confirmed by the experiments of Herschell, that the different 
colored rays have not all the same illuminating power. The violet 
rays appear to have the least illuminating effect; the indigo more; 
and the effect increases in the order of the colors, the green being 
ver}^ great ; between the green and j^ellow the greatest of all ; the 
j^ellow the same as the green ; but the red less than the yellow. 
Herschell also endeavored to determine whether the power of the 
differently colored rays to heat bodies varied with their power to 
illuminate them. He introduced into a dark room a beam of light 
which was decomposed by a prism, and then exposed a very sensible 


thermometer to all the rays in succession, and observed the heights 
to which it rose in a given time. He thus found that their power to 
heat increased from the violet to the red. The mercury in the ther- 
mometer rose higher when its bulb was placed in the indigo, than 
when it was placed in the violet ; still higher in blue, and highest of 
all at red. Upon placing the bulb of the thermometer below the red, 
quite out of the spectrum, he was surprised to find that the mercury 
rose highest of all, and concluded that rays proceed from the sun, 
which have the power of heating, but not of illuminating bodies. 
These rays have been called invisible solar rays ; they were about half 
an inch from the beginning of the red rays ; at a greater distance from 
this point the heat began to diminish, but was quite perceptible at a 
distance of one and a half inches. He determined that the heating 
power of the red to that of the green rays was as 2f to 1, and of red 
to violet as 3^ to 1. He afterwards made experiments to collect 
these invisible caloric rays, and caused them to act independently of 
the light, from which he concluded, that they are sufficient to account 
for all the effects produced by the solar rays in exciting heat ; that 
they are capable of passing through glass, and of being refracted and 
reflected, after they have been finally detached from the solar beam, 

M. Ritter of Jena, Dr. Wollaston, Beckman and others have 
discovered that the rays of the spectrum are possessed of certain 
chemical properties ; that beyond the least brilliant extremity of the 
spectrum, namely, a little beyond the violet ray, there are invisible 
rays which act chemically, while they have neither the power of 
heating nor of illuminating bodies. Muriate of silver exposed to 
the action of the red rays becomes blackish ; a greater effect is pro- 
duced by the yellow ; a still greater by the violet ; and the greatest 
of all by the invisible rays beyond the violet. When phosphorus is 
exposed to the action of the invisible rays beyond the red. it emits 
white fumes, but the invisible rays beyond the violet extinguish 

It has likewise been found that certain rays of the spectrum, 
particularly the violet, possess the property of communicating the 
magnetic influence. Morchini, of Rome, appears to have been the 
first who discovered that the violet rays of the spectrum had this 
property. The result of his experiments was, however, involved in 
doubt, but it was believed to be established by a series of experiments, 
carried out by Mrs. Somerville, a lady who is celebrated for her 
scientific pursuits. This lady having covered half a sewing needle, 
of about an inch long, with paper, exposed the other half for two 
hours to the violet rays. The needle had then acquired north 
polarity. The indigo rays produced nearly the same effect ; and the 



blue and green rays produced it in a still less degree. In the yellow, 
orange, red, and invisible rays, no magnetic influence was exhibited, 
although the experiment was continued for three successive days. 
The same effects were produced by enclosing the needle in blue or 
green glass, or wrapping it in blue or green ribbon, one half of the 
needle being always covered with paper. 

Though the whole space of the solar system is constantly replen- 
ished with light and heat, yet the whole system is constantly depen- 
dant on the sun for them ; and as a candle when extinguished leaves 
darkness instantly behind it, so the sun, if by any means it were 
extinguished, would leave our whole system instantly in pitchy 
darkness. This we positively know from the fact that no image can 
appear in a mirror unless an original be present to the mirror; aud 
thiit the sun exists in a luminous state we know from the fact that, 
when all things are prepared for it, his luminous image is instantly 
impressed upon the spectrum That it is the sun's elongated image 
is evident from the ends of the spectrum being arcs of a circle ; the 
elongation being effected by the different refractive powers of the 
different colored rays. Now it seetns quite evident that the differ- 
ent powers of dispersion, of illuminating, of heating, of producing 
chemical or magnetic effects, possessed by the different colored rays, 
and by the invisible rays beyond these, may arise, as the different 
degrees of light and heat themselves, from the nature of the different 
combustible substances of which the sun is made up. That these 
substances are not in general very dift'erent from the substances 
which produce light in the earth, we reasonably infer from the con- 
sideration that any common artificial light, such as a candle, a gas, 
or a petroleum light, gives the same spectral colors as the solar 
light does ; only the colors may vary slightly in intensity. The 
spectral hands, however, which we shall next consider, may give us 
some insight into the nature of the component substances of the 
sun's ignited parts. 

There was one feature of the solar spectrum which escaped the ob- 
servation of Newton, and it tends to show how much knowledge may 
be lost by performing an experiment in the least perfect manner. He 
allowed his sunbeam to pass through a circular hole to the prism, and 
thus missed the dark band> and fixed lines which cross the colors from 
end to end of the spectrum at right angles to its length. Dr. Wol- 
laston made an important discovery by admitting the light through 
a narrow slit, instead of a circular aperture, which is thus described 
by Sir David Brewster. In the year 1802, Dr. Wollaston announced 
that in the spectrum formed by a fine prism of flint glass, free from 
Yeins, when the luminous object was a slit the twentieth part of an 


inch wide, and viewed at the distance of ten or twelve feet, there 
Avere two fixed dark lines, one in the green and the other in the blue 
spaces. This discovery did not excite any attention, and was not 
followed out by its ingenious author. Without knowing of Wollas- 
ton's observations, Mr. Fraunhofer, of Munich, by viewing through 
a telescope the spectrum formed from a narrow line of solar light 
with the finest prism of flint glass, discovered that the surface of the 
spectrum was crossed throughout its whole length by dark lines of dif- 
ferent breadths. None of these lines coincide with the boundaries of 
the colored spaces. They are nearly 600 in number. The largest of 
them subtends an angle of from five seconds to ten seconds. From 
their distinctness, and the facility with which they may be found, five of 
these lines have been particularly distinguished by Fraunhofer. One 
of the important practical results of this discovery is that those lines 
are fixed points in the spectrum, or rather that they have always the 
same position in the colored spaces in which they are found. Fraun- 
hofer likewise discovered in the spectrum produced by the light of 
Venus, the same streaks as in the solar spectrum; in the spectrum 
of the light of the star Sirius he perceived three large streaks, which 
according to appearance, had no resemblance to those of the solar 
spectrum; one of these was in the green, two in the blue. The stars 
appear to differ from one another in their streaks. The electric light 
also is found to differ somewhat from the light of the sun, and that 
of a candle, in regard to the spectral streaks. When the spectrum 
is formed by the sun's rays, either direct or indirect, as from the sky, 
clouds, rainbow, moon, or planets, the black bands are always found 
to be in tlje same parts of the spectrum, and under all circumstances 
to maintain the same relative position, breadth and intensities. 

A very convenient instrument has been invented by Mr. John 
Browning called the " Miniature Spectroscope," by which, at any 
time, the solar spectrum may be observed in all its beauty of color ; 
and the dark lines are easily seen by properly adjusting the width of 
the slit. When this is widely opened, the spectrum is more bril- 
liant, because more light is admitted to the series of prisms contained 
in the instrument, but the lines are not then visible. By reducing 
the size of the aperture, it presents the appearance of striped ribbon, 
and is found to be crossed in the direction of its breadth by a num- 
ber of dark lines. This instrument in the case measures four inches 
in length, and rather more than three-fourths of an inch in diameter ; 
it is therefore easily portable in the pocket, and is thus kept ready 
for anjr special use, such for instance as observing the bright bands 
of color emitted by certain flames, or intensely hot gaseous matter, 
similar to that coming from the furnace in which the Bessemer pro- 


cess is carried on ; and it is by the employment of the spectroscope 
that the exact moment of the completion of the process for making 
steel or pure iron may be determined by a person skilled in the use 
of this instrument. 

In order to properly distinguish the spectral lines, it is necessary 
to classify the spectra obtained from the different sources of light. 
Thus, the light obtained from the incandescence of two graphite 
electrodes b}^ the voltaic battery, and called the " electric light," will, 
provided the graphite be middling pure, exhibit a continuous band 
of colors, perfectly free from all black lines. Such a spectrum 
teaches us nothing more than that light can be decomposed into 
seven colors. An observer looking at such a spectrum could not 
tell the exact source of the light, or say whether it was evolved by 
incandescent charcoal, lime, or platinum. Such a pure band of 
colors is called a spectrum of the first order. If a spirit lamp, burning 
pure and good spirit, is used as the source of heat, and "a platinum 
wire, looped at the end, and dipped into a solution of common salt, is 
now held in the spirit flame, it changes yellow ; and if the little hand 
spectroscope is directed towards it a yellow line is distinctly seen, 
whose position is toward the red end of the spectrum. When a 
more intense heat is used, such as the electric arc, the sodium line 
is double, and is then exactly coincident with the dark, double solar 
line known as Fraunhofer's (D) line. If nitrate or chloride of stron- 
tium be used, and placed, like the chloride of sodium, upon the 
looped platinum wire in the flame, and observed with the spectro- 
scope, the colored bands are more numerous. There are eight re- 
markable lines, one blue band, one orange, and six red. All the 
metals and the salts which can be converted into himinous gas give 
bright lines instead of dark ones ; and the various spectra obtained 
in this way are called spectra of the second order. 

The fact that metals and their salts will always give the same 
colored bands invariably in some particular part of the spectrum, 
affords a most delicate measure of quantitative analysis, which is 
generally employed where the presence of a minute quantity of some 
metallic salt is suspected. By means of spectral analysis, the three- 
millionth part of a millogramme of soda can be easily detected, of 
lithium the nine-millionth part, of calcium the ten-thousandth part 
of a millogramme. The spark from the great induction coil, when 
passed through the air, is always of a light yellow color, and when 
examined by the spectroscope it gives the yellow line of sodium ; 
and this is said to be supplied from the dust always floating in the 
air, which is continually supplied with particles of salt from the 
spray carried by the winds from the ocean. 


There is but one more order to speak of; this is, spectra of the 
third order, of which the best type is the solar spectrum, crossed by 
black lines. " The spectra of this order," says Mr. Huggins, " con- 
sist of the spectra of incandescent, solid, or liquid bodies, in which 
the continuity of the colored light is broken by dark lines. These 
dark spaces are not produced by the source of the light. They tell 
us of vapors through which the light has passed on its way, and 
which have robbed the light by absorption of certain definite 
colors, or rates of motion. Such spectra are formed by the light of 
the sun and stars." If the light producing the yellow lines in sodium 
by the electric arc be allowed to pass through the vapor of metallic 
sodium, the yellow lines change to black lines. The sodium vapor 
absorbs the same kind of light as it emits; and it was by this 
remarkable discovery that Kirchoff identified many of the dark 
lines in the solar spectrum, with the bright lines obtainable from 
terrestrial substances; and ascertained that, in the solar atmosphere, 
there existed sodium, calcium, barium, magnesium, iron, chromium, 
nickel, copper, zinc, strontium, cadmium, cobalt, and hydrogen. If 
the evidence depended only on the coincidence of one or two dark 
solar lines with the bright bands from the vapors of the terrestrial 
metals, it would be worth little or nothing ; but in a complicated 
series of sets of lines, such as woiild be produced by the above 
metals, all the lines coincide ; and in speaking of one of those metals, 
Kirchoff remarks : " The observations of the solar spectrum appear 
to me to prove the presence of iron- vapor in the solar atmosphere, 
with as great a degree of certainty as we can attain in any question 
of natural science." Messrs. Huggins and Miller have continued 
observations with the planets, the stars, the nebulae, and the com- 
ets, and have added largely to our knowledge of the constitution of 
these distant heavenly bodies. 

The Rainbow. 

At certain times, when there is a shower, either around us or at 
a distance from us, in an opposite direction to that of the sun, we 
see a kind of arch or bow in the sky, adorned with all the primary 
colors of light. This phenomenon, which is one of the most beauti- 
ful meteors in nature, is named the rainbow. The rainbow was for 
ages considered as an unexplainable myster}^ and by some nations 
it is said to have been adored as a deity. Even after the light of 
modern science had begun to dispel the ignorance from the minds 
of men, it was a considerable time before any discovery of importance 
was made as to the true causes which co-operate in the production 



of this phenomenon ; and it was not until Newton discovered the 
different refrangibility of the rays of light, that a complete and satis- 
factory explanation could be given of all the circumstances con- 
nected with the rainbow. This beautiful meteor never makes its ap- 
pearance to the spectator but when he is situated between the sun 
and the shower ; and it is produced by the reflection and refraction 
of the rays of light from the falling drops of rain. It has been olj- 
served before that water is a transparent medium, and transmits the 
rays of light, refracting or bending them a little from the course they 
were pursuing before entering it ; but while it transmits some rays 
of light, refracting them, it reflects others, both from its surface and 
inside its surface. There are usually two bows seen at the same time, 
one a little above the other, and encircling it ; the inside one is called 
the primary, the outside the secondary bow. The secondary bow is 
usually much fainter in its colors than the primary. Now these bows 
are formed by the drops of rain in a given circle acting like prisms, 
and sepai-ating the rays of light, by refraction and reflection, into, 
their prismatic colors ; the red being lowest and the violet highest in 
the primary bow; and the violet lowest and red highest in the Sec- 
ondary. It has been shown from the experiments of scientific men, 
who possessed both the inclination and leisure for such pursuits, that 
the first or primary bow is produced by one reflection and two re- 
fractions of the ray of light in the drop of rain ; and the secondary 
bow by two refractions and two reflections in the drop. In the first 


ease, the ray of light enters the drop from above, and on entering a 
new medium is, of course, refracted; it pursues its course in the 
drop, is reflected inside of it, and emerges from the same hemisphere 
of the drop as that in which it entered, and in emerging is refracted. 
Thus the ray is refracted in entering the drop, a new and denser me- 
dium ; is reflected in the drop, the same medium ; and is refracted 
again in emerging from the drop to the air, a different medium from 
the drop. 

In the second case the ray strikes the drop rather on the lower, 
side,' and is refracted on entering it ; pursues its course to the other 
side of the drop on the inside, and is reflected from the lower part of 
the inside surface of the drop ; is reflected again from the inside of 
the upper surface of the drop ; and in emerging from the drop is re- 
fracted. Thus, as in the first case, the ray is refracted in entering 
the drop, a new medium ; is reflected twice in the drop, the same 
medium ; and in emerging to the air is again refracted. Hence in 
consequence of the two reflections in the drop in the last case the 
ray must in its course have described a four-sided figure, perhaps a 
square or a parallelogram. The same thing happens in the given cir- 
cular space with respect to a whole shower as happens with respect 
to one or two drops; and by the constant falling of the rain the im- 
age is preserved constant and perfect. This subject may be partially 
illustrated in this way ; take either a small solid glass globe or a 
small glass globe filled with water, and suspend it so high in the 
solar rays that the observer with his back to the sun can see the 
globe red ; if it then be lowered slowly he will see it orange, then 
yellow, then green, then blue, then indigo, then violet ; so that the 
drop of rain, as this, at different heights shall present to the eye of 
the observer the seven prismatic colors in siiccession. It must not 
be thought that any perceptible time is taken up in the refractions 
and reflections we speak of, as by which the rainbow is formed in 
the falling rain-drops, or in the lowering glass globe ; the phenom- 
enon is produced by the positions of the falling drops, or of the globe, 
in relation to our eye and to the sun. Fig. 93 illustrates the cause . 
that produces the rainbow ; the lower drop, or series of drops, repre-. 
senting the primary bow, the upper the secondary. The rainbow 
assumes a semi-circular appearance because it is only at certain 
angles that the refracted rays come to our eyes, as is evident from 
this experiment of the glass globe, which will reflect the different 
colored rays onl}^ in a certain position. The red rays make an angle 
of forty-two degrees two minutes; and the violet an angle of forty 
degrees and seventeen minutes. Tlius if a line be drawn horizontally 
from the spectator's eye, it is plain that the angles fornied with a 


line of a certain dimension in every direction will produce a circle, 
as will appear by attaching a cord of a certain length to a given 
point, around which, as around an axis, it may turn ; and in every 
point it will describe an angle with the horizontal line of a certain 
and determinate length. No\y all the drops of water within the dif- 
ferenee of these two angles, namely, one degree and forty-five min- 
utes (supposing the ray to proceed from the centre of the sun), will 
exhibit severally the colors of the prism and constitute the interior 
bow of the cloud. This holds good at whatever height the sun may 
happen to be in a shower of rain. If he be at a high altitude the 
rainbow will be low ; if at a low elevation, the rainbow must be high; 
and if a shower happen in a vale when the observer is on a mountain 
he will sometimes see the bow in the form of a complete circle below 
him. The largest angle, then, or circle, is formed by the red rays, 
the middle one the green, and the smallest the purple or violet. If 
the spectator alters his position, he will see a bow but not the same 
as before ; and if there be many spectators they will see each a dif- 
ferent bow, though it appears to be tlie same. If there were no 
ground to intercept the rain and the view of the spectator, the rain- 
bow would form a complete circle whose centre is diametrically 
opposite to the sun. Such circles are often seen in the spray of the 
sea or of a cascade, or from the tops of lofty mountains when the 
shower happens in the vale below. Rainbows of various descriptions 
are frequently seen rising amid the spray and exhalations of water- 
falls, and among the waves of the sea, whose tops are blown by the 
wind into small drops. There is one regularly seen when the sun is 
shining, and the observer in a proper position, at the Fall of Staub- 
hack, in the bosom of the Alps ; one near Schaffhausen ; one at the 
cascade of Lauffen ; one at the Cataract of Niagara, and one at the 
Chaudiere Falls, Ottawa. 

A more beautiful one than any of these is said to be seen at Terni, 
where the whole current of the river Velino, rushing from a steep 
precipice of nearly two hundred feet high, presents to the observer 
below a variegated circle, overreaching the fall, and two other bows 
suddenly reflected on the right and left. Don Ulloa, in the account 
of his travels in South America, relates that circular rainbows are 
frequently seen on the mountains above Quito, in Peru. A naval 
friend, says Mr. Bucke, informed me that as he was one day watch- 
ing the sun's effect upon the exhalations near Juan Fernandez, he 
saw upwards of five-and-twenty ires marince animate the sea at the 
same time. In these marine bows the concave sides were turned 
upward, the drops of water rising from below, and not falling from 
above, as in the instance of aerial arches. Rainbows are also occasion- 


ally seen on the grass in the morning dew, and likewise when the 
hoar-frost is descending. Dr. Langwith once saw a bow lying on 
the ground, the colors of which were almost as lively as those of a 
common rainbow. It was not circular, but oblong, and was extended 
several hundred yards. The colors took up less space and were much 
more vivid in those parts of the bow which were near him, than in 
those which were at a distance. When M. Labillardiere was on 
Mount Teneriffe, he saw the contour of his body traced on the 
clouds beneath him, in all the colors of the solar bow. He had pre- 
viously witnessed this phenomenon on the Kesrouan, in Asia Minor. 
The rainbows of Greenland are said to be frequently of a pale white, 
fringed with a brownish yellow, arising from the rays of the sun being 
reflected from a frozen cloud. 

A rainbow may be produced at any time by artificial means, when 
the sun is shining, and not at too great an altitude above the horizon. 
This is effected by means of artificial fountains, which are intended 
to throw up streams of water to a great height. These streams, 
when they spread very wide and blend together in their upper parts, 
form, when falling, an artificial shower of rain. If, then, when the 
fountain is playing, we move between it and the sun to a proper dis- 
tance from the fountain, until our shadow points directly toward it, 
and look at the shower, we shall observe the colors of the rainbow 
strong and lively ; and what is especially noticeable, the bow appears, 
notwithstanding the nearness of the shower, to be as large and as 
far off as the rainbow which we see in a natural shower of rain. The 
same experiment may be made with candle-light and with any instru- 
ment that will form an artificial shower. 

The following is a summary of the principal facts which have 
been ascertained respecting the rainbow: 1. The ordinary rainbow 
can only be seen when it rains, and in that part of the heavens oppo- 
site to the sun. 2. Both the primary and secondary bows are varie- 
gated with all the prismatic colors, the red being the highest color 
in the primary, or brightest bow ; and the violet the highest in the 
secondary or exterior bow. 3. The primary rainbow can never be 
a greater arc than a semicircle ; and when the sun is set no bow in 
ordinary circumstances can be seen. 4. The breadth of the inner or 
pi'imary bow, supposing the sun but a point, is one degree and forty- 
five minutes ; and the breadth of the exterior bow three degrees and 
twelve minutes, which is nearly twice as great as that of the other; 
and the distance between the bows is eight degrees and fiftj^-five 
minutes. But since the body of the sun subtends an angle of about 
half a degree, by so much will each bow be increased, and their dis- 
tance diminished ; and, therefore, the breadth of the interior bow 


will be two degrees, fifteen minutes ; and that of the exterior three 
degrees, forty-two minutes ; and their distance eight degrees, twenty- 
five minutes. The greatest semi-diameter of the interior bow, on the 
same grounds, will be forty-two degrees, seventeen minutes ; and the 
least of the exterior bow fifty degrees, forty-three minutes. 5. When 
the sun is in the horizon, either in the morning or evening, the bows 
will appear complete semicircles. On the contrary, when the sun's 
altitude is equal to forty-two degrees, two minutes, or to fifty-four 
degrees, ten minutes, the summits of the bows will be depressed 
below the horizon. Hence, during the days of summer, within a 
certain interval each day, no visible rainbows can be formed, on ac- 
count of the sun's high elevation above the horizon. 6. The altitude 
of the bows above the horizpn, or surface of the earth, varies accord- 
ing to the elevation of the sun. The altitude at any time may be 
taken by a common quadrant, or any other angle-measuring instru- 
ment ; but if the sun's altitude at any particular time be known, the 
height of the summit of any of the bows may be found by subtract- 
ing the sun's altitude from forty-two degrees, two minutes, for the 
inner bow; and from fifty-four degrees, ten minutes, for the outer. 
Thus, if the sun's altitude be twenty-six degrees, the height, of the 
primary bow would be sixteen degrees, two minutes ; and that of the 
secondary bow twenty-eight degrees, ten minutes. It follows that 
the height and the size of the bows diminish as the altitude of the 
sun increases. 7. If the sun's altitude be more than forty-two de- 
grees, and less than fifty-four, the exterior bow may be seen, though 
the interior one is invisible. Sometimes only a portion of an arch 
will be visible, while all the other parts of the bow are invisible. 
This happens when the rain does not occur in a space of sufficient 
extent to complete the bow; and the appearances of the position, 
and even of the bow itself, will be various, according to the nature 
of the situation, and the space occupied by the rain. 

Lunar rainbows are sometimes formed at night b}'- the rays of the 
moon striking on a rain-cloud, especially when the moon is about at 
its full ; but such phenomena are not often observed. Aristotle is 
said to have considered himself the first who saw a lunar rainbow. 
These bows appear distinct and well-defined, but the prismatic colors 
are usually not very distinct. They may be all distinguished by 
attending to the phases and position of the moon. If the moon be 
not visible above the horizon, if she be in her first or last quarter, or 
if an observed phenomenon is not in a direction opposite to the moon, 
we may conclude with certainty that whatever appearance is pre- 
sented no lunar rainbow appears. The writers of the Bible frequently 
allude to the rainbow as one of the emblems of the majesty and glory 

COLORS. 267 

of the Deity. Ezekiel represents the throne of the Almighty as 
adorned with a brightness "like the appearance of a bow that is in 
the cloud in the day of rain; the appearance of the likeness of the 
glory of Jehovah." And in the visions recorded in the book of 
Revelation, where the Most High is represented as sitting on a throne, 
it is said: " there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight 
like unto an emerald," an emblem of his glory, and holiness, as well 
as of his propitious character, as there represented. In the apocry- 
phal book of Ecclesiasticus it is alluded to by the son of Sirach after 
this manner: "Look upon the rainbow, and praise him that made 
it ; very beautiful it is in the brightness thereof. It compasseth the 
heavens about with a glorious circle, and the hands of the Most High 
have bended it." 


The common theory supposes or represents that colors are inherent 
in light alone ; whereas it is evident light only makes manifest what 
exists in something or everything else. The principles of light, of 
colors, and of heat co-exist in everything. Burn a stick of wood and 
you obtain a blaze, from which you can derive all the prismatic colors ; 
you derive light, heat, electricity, and colors, from the same bit of 
fuel. Light is that manifestation of matter which opens up to us the 
universe, displays to us all other objects, and is an object itself for 
us to experiment upon. Thus we can experiment upon the proper- 
ties of light, as well as upon all other things by means of light. It 
is essential to the existence of all vegetables and animals ; and this is 
a proof that the solar light has always existed as now, and, therefore, 
that all colors have always been displayed. It is, however, strictly 
true, that without light there would be no colors ; although they ex- 
isted in principle everywhere and in everj^thing. All colors, there- 
fore, are dependent upon light. Of all the phenomena which vege- 
tables exhibit, there are few that appear more extraordinary than 
the energy and constancy with which their stems incline towards the 
light. Most of the discous flowers follow the sun in his course. 
They attend him to his retreat in the evening, and meet his rising 
lustre in the morning, with the same unerring law. They unfold 
their petals on the approach of this luminary ; they follow his course 
by turning on their stems, and close them as soon as he disappears. 
Also, if a plant be shut up in a dark room, and a small hole be af- 
terwards opened, by which the light of the sun may enter, the plant 
will turn towards that hole, and even alter its shape, in order 
to incline towards it ; so that though it was straight before, it will 


in time become crooked, that it may get near the light. Vegeta- 
bias placed in rooms where they receive light only from one direc- 
tion always extend themselves in that direction. If they receive 
light from two directions, they incline rather towards that which is 
strongest. It seems to be rather the light than the heat of the sun 
which the plant thus covets ; for though a fire be kept in the room 
capable of giving out a much stronger heat than the sun gives there, 
the plant will turn away from the fire, in order to enjoy the solar 
light. Trees growing in dense forests, where they receive most of 
their light from above, direct their shoots almost invariably upward, 
and, therefore, become much taller and less spreading than such as stand 
single ; they are also more intensely green toward the tops. The 
green color of vegetables is found to depend upon the sun's light 
being allowed to shine on them ; for without the influence of the so- 
lar light they are always of a whitish aspect. It is found by exper- 
iment that if a plant which has been reared in darkness, is exposed 
to the light of day, in two or three days it will acquire a green color 
perceptibly similar to that of plants grown in open daylight. If we 
expose to the light one part of the plant whether leaf or branch, this 
part alone will become green. If we cover any part of a leaf with 
an opaque substance, this part Avill remain white, while the rest be- 
comes green. The whiteness of the inner leaves of cabbages is a 
partial efPect of the same cause ; and any one may produce many 
other examples of the same kind. M. Decandolle, who seems to have 
paid particular attention to this subject, makes the following 
remarks : " It is certain that between the white state of plants vege- 
tating in darkness and complete greenness, every possible interme- 
diate degree exists, determined by the intensity of the light. Of 
this, any one may easily satisfy himself by attending to the color of 
a plant exposed to the full daylight ; it exhibits in succession all the 
degrees of verdure. I had already seen the same phenomenon in a 
particular manner by exposing plants reared in darkness to the 
light of lamps. In these experiments, I not only saw the color come 
on gradually, according to the continuance of the exposure to light, 
but I satisfied myself that a certain intensity of permanent light 
never gives to a plant more than a certain degree of color. The 
same fact readily shows itself in nature, when we examine the plants 
that grow under shelter or in forests, or when we examine in succes- 
sion the state of the leaves that form the heads of cabbages. * " 

It is likewise found that the perspiration of vegetables is increased 
or diminished in a certain measure by the degree of light which falls 
upon them. M. Guetard informs us that a plant exposed to the rays 

* Memoires de la Socie'te d'Arencil. 


of the sun has its perspiration increased to a much greater degree 
than if it had been exposed to the same heat inside the shade. 
And, it is said, the experiments of Mr. P. Miller, and others, go to 
prove that plants uniformly perspire most in the forenoon, though 
the temperature of the air in which they are placed should be un- 
varied. Vegetables are likewise found to be indebted to light for 
their smell, taste, and combustibility, maturit}^ and the resinous prin- 
ciples which equally depend upon it. The aromatic substances, 
resins, and volatile oils, are the productions of Southern climates, 
where the light is more pure and intense. Another remarkable 
property of light on the vegetable kingdom is, that when vegetables 
are exposed to open daylight, or to the sun's rays, they emit oxygen 
gas, or vital air. It has been proved that in the production of this 
effect the sun does not act as a body that heats. The emission of 
the gas is determined by the light ; the pure air is, therefore, separa- 
ted by the action of light and the operation is stronger as the light is 
more intense. By this continual emission, the atmosphere is contin- 
ually purified, and the loss of pure air occasioned by respiration, 
combustion, fermentation, putrefaction and numerous other proces- 
ses which have a tendency to vitiate this fluid, so essential to the 
maintenance and vigor of animal life, is repaired; so that in this way, 
by the agency of light, a due equilibrium is always maintained be- 
tween the constituent parts of the atmosphere. 

It is evident that colors exist but in principle, except for the 
agency of light; and it is owing to the surfaces of bodies being dis- 
posed to reflect certain colors rather than others that we have such 
a variety of colors. When the disposition is such that a body 
reflects every kind of ray in the mixed state in which it receives 
them, that body appears white to us, which properly speaking, is no 
color, but rather the combination of all the colors. When a body 
absorbs nearly all the light which falls upon it that body appears 
black; it transmits to the eye so few reflected rays that it is scarce 
perceptible in itself, and its presence and form make no impression 
upon us unless as it interrupts the brightness of the surrounding space. 
Black is therefore the absence of all colors. If the body has a fit- 
ness to reflect one sort of rays more abundantly than others, by ab- 
sorbing all the others, it will appear of the color belonging to that 
species of rays. Thus, the grass is green because it absorbs all the 
colors except green. It is the green rays only which the grass, the 
foliage of the trees and shrubs, and all the other verdant parts of 
the landscape reflect to our sight, and which make them appear green. 
In the same manner the different flowers reflect their respective 
colors ; the rose the red rays ; the jonquil the yellow ; the marigold 


the orange; and every object whether natural or artificial, appears 
of the color which its peculiar texture is adapted to reflect. A great 
number of bodies are fitted to reflect at once several kinds of rays, 
and consequently they appear under mixed colors. It often happens 
that of two bodies which are green, for example, one may reflect the 
green of light and the other the mixture of yellow and blue. This 
quality, which varies to infinity, occasions the different kinds of rays 
to unite in every possible manner and every possible propoi-tion ; and 
hence the inexhaustible variety of shades and hues which is seen 
diffused over the scene of creation. 

Every object is black or colorless in perfect darkness, and it only 
appears colored as soon as light renders it visible. This will become 
more plain from the following experiment. If we place a colored 
bod}^ in one of the colors of the spectrum which is formed by the 
prism, it appears of the color of the rays in which it is placed. Take, 
for ilhistration, a red rose, and expose it first to the red rays, and it 
will appear of a more brilliant, ruddy hue ; hold it in the blue rays 
and it appears no longer red, but of a dingy blue color ; and in like 
manner its color will appear different when exposed to all the other 
differently colored rays. This is the reason why the colors of objects 
are altered by the nature of the light in which they are seen. The 
colors of ribbons, of cloths, of silks, or woollen stuffs, are not exactly 
the same when viewed by candle-light as in the da}^ time. In the 
light of a lamp or a candle, blue sometimes appears green, and yellow 
objects assume a whitish aspect. The reason is that the light of a 
candle or of a lamp is not as pure a white as that of the sun, but has 
a yellowish tinge, and therefore, when refracted by the prism, the 
yellowish rays are found to predominate, and the superabundance of 
yellow rays gives to blue objects a greenish hue. The following ex- 
periment, as described bj^ Sir D. Brewster, may further illustrate our 
subject: " Having obtained the means of illuminating any apartment 
with yellow light, let the exhibition be made in a room with furniture 
of various bright colors, and with oil or Avater-colored paintings on 
the wall. The party which is to witness the experiment should be 
dressed in a diversity of the gayest colors, and the brightest-colored 
flowers and highly-colored drawings should be placed on the tables. 
The room being at first lighted with ordinary lights the bright and 
gay colors of everything that it contains will be finely displayed. If 
the white lights are now suddenly extinguished, and the yellow 
lamps lighted, the most appalling metamorphosis will be exhibited. 
The astonished individuals will no longer be able to recognize each 
other. All the furniture of the room, and all the objects it contains, 
will exhibit only one color. The flowers will lose their hues ; the 


paintings and drawing, will appear as if they were executed in China 
ink ; and the gayest dresses, the brightest scarlets, the purest lilacs, 
the richest blues, and the most vivid greens, will be converted into 
one monotonous yellow. The complexions of the parties, too, will 
suffer a con-esponding change. One pallid, death-like yellow, like 
the unnatural hue which ' Autumn paints upon the perished leaf,' will 
envelope the young and the old ; and the sallow face will alone 
escape from the metamorphosis. Each individual derives merriment 
from the cadaverous appearance of his neighbor, without being 
sensible that he is one of the ghastly assemblage." 

From such experiments we might conclude that were the colors of 
the solarspectrum different from what they are, the colors which adorn 
the face of nature and embellish the landscape of the world would 
be of another aspect, and appear very different from what we are 
now accustomed to behold. Some of the distant stars appear to display 
light different in color from solar light ; and hence some have con- 
cluded that the coloring thrown upon the different scenes of the 
universe may vary somewhat in different systems, and that, along 
with other arrangements, an infinite variety of coloring of scenery 
may be displayed thoughout the immensity of creation. The differ- 
ent coloring, however, Avhich these distant stars appear to exhibit 
may arise from complementary colors, which we shall soon come to 
consider. The atmosphere, in consequence of its refractive and re- 
flective powers, is the source of a diversity of colors which frequent- 
ly embellish and adorn the aspect of our sky. The atmosphere reflects 
the blue rays most plentifully, which is the cause of its blue aspect, 
and must, therefore, transmit the red, oi^ange, and yellow more 
copiously than the other rays. When the sun and other heavenly 
bodies are at a high altitude their light is transmitted without any 
perceptible change to the earth's surface ; but when they are near 
the horizon their light has to pass through an extended tract of dense 
air, and must therefore, be considerably modified by reflection before 
it reaches the eye of the observer. If the light of the setting sun, by 
thus passing through a long tract of dense air, be divested of its green, 
blue, indigo, and violet rays, the remaining rays which are transmit- 
ted through the atmosphere will illuminate the western clouds, first, 
with an orange color, and, then, as the sun gradually sinks beloAv the 
horizon, the track through which the raj^s must pass becoming longer, 
the yellow and orange are reflected, and the clouds grow more deeply 
red, until at length the departure of the sun leaves them of a leaden 
hue, by the reflection of the blue light through the air. Similar 
changes may sometimes be seen on the eastern and western front of 
white buildings. From such atmospherical refractions and reflec- 


tions those beautiful and varied hues are produced with which our 
western sky is gilded by the setting sun, and the glowing red which 
tinges the morning and evening clouds, until their ruddy glare as 
tempered by the purple of twilight, and the reflected azure of the 
sky. When a direct spectrum is thrown upon colors darker than 
itself it mixes with them, as the yellow spectrum of the setting sun, 
thrown on the verdant grass, becomes a greener yellow. But when 
a direct spectrum is thrown on colors brighter than itself it becomes 
instantly changed into the reverse spectrum, which blends with these 
brighter colors. Thus, the yellow spectrum of the setting sun thrown 
on the luminous sky becomes blue and changes with the color or 
brightness of the clouds on which it appears. The red rays of light 
being capable of appearing through thick and resisting media Avhich 
intercept all other colors is likewise the cause why the sun appears 
red when seen through a fog ; why lamps at a distance, seen through 
the smoke of a large street, are red, while those near by are white. 
To the same cause it is owing that a diver at the bottom of the sea 
is surrounded with the red light which appears through the superin- 
cumbent fluid, while the blue light is reflected from the surface of 
the water. 

ComplerriPMtary, or Accidental, Colors. 

When the eye is impressed with a brilliant lighter color, after it has 
been removed, the retina of the eye remains for a short time impressed 
Avith a color which is usually complementary to the one first observed. 
Complementary colors mean any two colors which will, when com- 
bined, form white light ; in short, any two colors which contain red, 
yellow, and blue. Thus, a brilliant yellow light would leave ujjon 
the eye the impression of violet-colored light, composed of red and 
blue ; a green would leave a reddish violet ; a red a bluish green; a 
black a white ; a white a black ; an orange a blue ; a blue an orange 
red ; indigo an orange yellow ; and violet a yellow green. This can 
be illustrated by placing some strips, say of red paper, in the form 
of a cross on a sheet of white cardboard. If the oxyhydrogen light 
is projected from a lantern with condenser lenses on to the red cross, 
and the spectator directed to watch it steadily, on suddenly removing 
the card with the red cross, and having another white card behind 
it, it will usually be noticed that nearly all those who are watchino- 
the experiment will exclain that they see a green cross, faint green 
of course, but still quite sufficiently defined to enable them to de- 
termine that it is so. If instead of the red cross green be employed, 
red remains visible, and black, as already stated, becomes white. 


These effects are described by Sir D. Brewster, under the name of 
"Accidental colors;" and he appears to regard them as synonymous 
with the term already explained, that is, complementary colors. He 
thus explains the phenomena ; " When the eye has been for some 
time fixed on the red cross, the part of the retina occupied by the 
red image is strongly excited, or, as it were, deadened by its continued 
action. The sensibility of red light will therefore be diminished ; 
and, coiisequentljs when the eye is turned from the red cross 
to the white card, the deadened portion of the retina will 
be insensible to the red rays which form part of the white light 
of the paper, and consequently will see the paper of that color 
which arises from all the rays in the white light of the paper, but the 
red ; that is, of a bluish green color, which is therefore the true com- 
plementary color of the red cross." " When a black cross is placed 
on a white ground, the portion of the retina on which the black 
image falls in place of being deadened is protected, as it were, by the 
absence of light, while all the surrounding parts of the retina, being 
excited by the white light of the paper, will be deadened by its con- 
liiuial action. Hence when the eye is directed to the white card, it 
will see a white cross, corresponding to the black image on the retina ; 
so tlyit the accidental color of black is white." For the same reason if 
a white cross is placed on a black ground and viewed steadily for 
some time, the eye will always see a black cross; so that the acciden- 
tal color of white is black. The same author remarks: "It is not, 
however, necessary that the eye should be strongly impressed pre- 
viously by some colored light, as the phenomena of accidental colors 
are sometimes seen without it." 

He states that in order to see this class of phenomena, he found 
the following method the simplest and the best : " Having lighted 
two candles hold before one of them a piece of colored glass, suppose 
bright red, and remove the other candle to such a distance that the 
two shadows of any body formed upon a piece of white paper may be 
equally dark. In this case one of the shadows will be red and the 
other green. With blue glass, one of them will be blue and the other 
orange-yellow, the one being invariably the accidental or comple- 
mentary color of the other. The very same effect may be produced 
in daylight by two holes in a window-shutter ; the one being covered 
with colored glass, and the other transmitting the white light of the 

JMr. Rose, in a paper on " Persistence," in which he describes ex- 
periments devised and carried out by himself shows that with no 
color whatever to look upon, and only gazing on a white card, while 
the starry light falling on it is gradually reduced and restored, the 



white appearance of light passes into the various gradations of colored 
light. He thus describes this very interesting experiment : " An in- 
tensely white card is held before the eye, whilst a strong light, fall- 
ing on it, is gradually reduced and restored. As the light is reduced 
the whiteness passes into yellow orange, red, and sometimes thence 
into blue. Whilst at other times colors intermediate between the 
red and blue are apprehended, the gradual reduction of the light 
brings up the color by suicj-sive steps, and in reverse order to white- 
ness. All eyes, as might be expected, are not affected alike by these 
experiments ; but all see whiteness passing into yellow, orange, and 
blue; and blue returning back in deep orange, yellow, and white. 
The restoration of the light is on the whole less satisfactory than its 
reduction, for when by reduction a deeply intense blue is obtained' 
the light cannot, to some eyes, be restored slowly enough to prevent 
a sudden change to deep orange. The colors that succeed each other 
as the light is gradually reduced have none of the accepted relations 
between any given color and its complement. The white is not suc- 
ceeded by thin blackness, the yellow by faint purple, or the orange 
invariably by blue ; but the different hues do come up in an order 
that suggests the great probability that what ive name colors is only 
the various affectiofi of the optic nerve by a greater or less quantity of 
light radiating from afocaVpoint in an imperfect reflector T It is said 
the above experiment was the result of accident. Mr. Rose had been 
looking upon a white surface lying near a powerful gaslight, when 
his arm having caught the tap and reduced the light, his attention 
was drawn to a sudden change from white to red color. 

Another experiment of great beauty and interest was also sug- 
gested to him by an accidental circumstance. He was observing the 
effect of flashes of intermittent, artificial light on a revolving disc, 
having twelve large circular black spaces, ranged equidistantly 
.around the margin. It was broad day, and the window-shutters 
were closed to exclude the natural light. While the experiment was 
going on the shutter accidentally started open, and admitted a little 
daylight, when the remarkable appearance was presented of twelve 
blue circular spaces, lying upon a zone of bright orange. Mr. Rose 
regarded this at the time as simply the presentation of a complemen- 
tary color, under singular conditions which kept it permanently before 
the eye ; but as leisure afforded him opportunity to repeat the 
experiment, he soon began to perceive that he had taken far too 
limited and narrow a view. This misconception arose out of a fact 
connected with the painting of the discs. He found that lampblack 
alone would not give the depth and intensity required in the devices, 
and to remedy the defect he added a little indigo. The circular 


spaces, to the eye, were certainly intense black, and nothing more ; 
but he considered that they had a tendency to blueness, and that 
under the rotation they were reduced to a lighter blue, and drew 
after them trains of complementary orange, in the same way that a 
black fly, walking across a pane of ground glass, backed by gray- 
light, is seen to draw a white spectrum after him. 

But he dismissed this idea as soon as he found that absolute un- 
mixed black produced the same effect, and that the nearer the arti- 
ficial light approached to intensity of whiteness, the more decided 
and satisfactory was the result. But how is this effect to be ex- 
plained ? Mr. Rose goes on to say : " The diffused light of the zone 
is continually falling upon the eye ; but the intermittent flashes find 
the negations or black portions always in the same areas, and hence 
from the spaces no part of the flash is reflected, whilst it mingles 
with, and adds to, the diff'used light in the spaces between the 
negations. Now the diffused light is, we assume, intense light 
reduced b}^ distribution to blueness ; and in this'blueness the negative 
spaces participate ; but in the rest of the zone the flash brings up 
the light in such quality in relation to space as is necessary for the 
presentation of orange. We have more light from diffusion at the 
outer and inner edges than at the centre of the zone or ring, and 
hence the light blue at the inner margin, and the light blue, passing 
into green, at the outer margin. This common quality of the zone 
is shown in the negative spaces. But from the intervals between 
them there comes the diffused light variously affected by the flash, 
and conveying the graduated tints of orange." Mr. Rose thinks this 
explanation of the subject will appear reasonable, if the conditions 
of the action are thoughtfully considered. Eight circular spaces of 
absolute blackness produce under rotation and by persistence a 
nebulous ring. " If," he says, " this is to be viewed as a mixture of 
light and shadow, or of black and white, we cannot explain the 
manner of its affection by the intermittent light, which shows the 
apparently stationary negations as blue, and the remainder of the 
zone as orange. But it we regard the black spaces as utter absence 
of light, reducing the quantity of light for distribution over the zone, 
but giving it no quantity by admixture, all difficulty is at an end. 
A quantity of light is then understood to be diffused, over a certain 
space, whence it comes modified to blueness ; and when this reduced 
light receives the impression of the flash, it is increased in relation 
to surface, and raised to orange." 

In the " Edinburgh Journal of Science " Mr. Smith has described 
a very curious instance of the change of white light into comple- 
mentary tints. In his directions for the performance of this exper- 


iment he tells the operator to hold a strip of white cardboard upright 
about twelve inches from the eyes. The card may be six inches 
long, and a quarter of an inch wide. If the eyes are now fixed iipon 
some object at a distance of ten or twelve feet behind it, so that the 
card becomes doubled, and a lighted candle is now placed close to 
the right eye, and shaded from the left one, the latter will see the 
white strip of card green, while the former will appreciate the com- 
plementar}' color or red. On changing the candle so that the light 
falls upon the left eye the phenomena are reversed. We shall con- 
clude this part of our subject, on the persistence of vision and its 
illusions, by presenting a general summary of the effects. 1. Persis- 
tence is the retention of an image by the eye not for an absolute 
instant, but for an interval, — an interval sufficiently long for an 
object to pass over a succession of points, in all of which it will be 
ap^jrehended by the eye at the same instant. For illustration, a 
lighted stick whirled round rapidly in a circle presents a ring of 
light, because the qjq retains an imj^ression of the light at any given 
point, until the stick has returned to the same point again. 2. Simple 
Persistence presents only illusions of the simplest character, as the 
commingling of the elements of white light, the composition of color, 
etc. 3. Persistence under Conditions of Interrupted Vision offers an 
indefinite variety of illusions, depending upon the fact that a disc in 
rapid revolution, presenting the points in the circumference only for 
an instant to the eye, is virtually stationary ; and any object situated 
in these points is distinctly seen, because of its making no sensible 
advance during the exceedingly brief interval of its apparitions. 4. 
Disc Actioji presents the illusions of vision under various arrange- 
ments, in which discs revolving with different degrees of velocity, 
and bearing multiform devices, impress the eye with a number of 
images at virtually the same instant. 5. Single Disc Action is toler- 
ably well known in its application to ordinary optical instruments, 
and as the vehicles for the amusements presented in the thaumatrope, 
etc. The single action has this advantage in connection with the 
thaumatrope and kindred devices, that it shows true form, and does 
not make anamorphoses or distorted figures ; in one point of view 
confused, in another exact and regular. 6. Double Disc Action pro- 
duces, under certain arrangements, an almost unlimited variety of 
illusions. The double disc movement, as arranged by Mr. Rose, 
consists of two wheels, one of which receives a disc bearing the 
devices, and the other a black disc perforated with a number of slots 
or slits. The wheels revolve in contrary directions, and their relative 
velocities can be varied at pleasure within certain limitations. In 
these illusions the aim is at something higher than a mere optical 


toy ; the double disc action will be more estimable since it presents 
the most interesting illustrations of recondite optical principles, and 
also examples of compound motion, multiplication, involution, and 
combinations of the most attractive and pleasing character. 

Color is that property of light to which the universe is indebted 
for the beauties and sublimities with which it is adorned. It is color, 
in all its diversified shades, which presents to the view of intelligent 
beings that almost infinite variety of aspect which the scenes of 
nature display, which directs the eye and the imagination, and gives 
a pleasing variety to every new landscape we behold. Every flower 
which adorns our fields and gardens presents its various hues ; every 
landscape presents its shrubs and trees of different degrees of inten- 
sity of verdure ; and almost every mountain is covered with herbs 
and grass of different shades from those which are seen on the hills 
and plains surrounding it. In the rural districts during the summer 
nature is daily varying her appearance by the multitude and diversity 
of her hues and decorations, so that the eye rambles with pleasure 
over ol)jects continually diversified, and extending on all sides as far 
as the sight can reach. In the flowers which deck every landscape, 
what an admirable assemblage of colors, and what a wonderful art 
in the disposition of their shades does nature display. Here appears 
a light pencilling of delicate tints ; there they are blended in a 
manner surpassing the nicest rules of the most exquisite art. Al- 
though green is the general color which prevails over our earthly scene, 
yet it is diversified by a thousand different shades, so that every kind 
of tree, shrub, and herb, is covered with its own peculiar verdure. 
The dark green of the forests is thus easily distinguished from the 
lighter shades of corn-fields, and the verdure of the pastures. 

The world of animated nature also displays a great variety of 
beautiful colors. The plumage of birds ; the brilliant feathers of the 
peacock and the guinea-fowl, of the robin, the goldfinch, and the 
humming-bird, and the various embellishments of many species of 
the insect class, present to the eye in every region of the globe an 
interesting scene of diversified beauty. Nor is the mineral kingdom 
destitute of such beauties of color, for not only all crystals, and pre- 
cious stones, but some of the roughest and unshapeliest stones and 
minerals, when polished artificially, display a mixture of the most 
delicate and variegated colors. Now all these beauties in the scene 
arouiid us are owing to that property in the rays of light b)^ which 
they can be separated into their primary colors. To the same cause 
are to be attributed those beautiful and diversified appearances, 
which frequently adorn the face of the heavens, the yellow, orange 
and ruby hues which embellish the sky at the rising and setting of 


the sun , and those aerial scenes so frequently beheld in tropical 
climes, where rivers, houses, and mountains are depicted as rolling 
over" each other along the circle of the horizon. The clouds, par- 
ticularly in some countries, reflect almost every shade of color in 
nature ; sometimes they are of a roseate hue ; sometimes they appear 
like bands of deep vermilion : and sometimes like huge brilliant 
masses heaped one upon another and tinged with various hues ; now 
they are white, like ivory ; now as yellow as native gold. In short, 
color diversifies every scene with which we are acquainted, whether 
on the earth or in the heavens. It imparts beauty to the rainbow, to 
the coruscations of the Aurora Borealis, and gives a splendor and 
sublimity to the spacious vault of heaven. 

But let us consider for a moment what the aspect of nature would 
be if instead of the beautiful diversity of embellishment which now 
appears on every side one uniform color were spread over the scenery 
of the universe. Conceive the whole of terrestrial nature to be 
covered with snow, so that no object on earth appeared of any other 
hue ; and that the vast expanse of the sky presented the same un- 
iform aspect; what would be the condition of human beings, suppos- 
ing them existing in such a world? The light of the sun would be 
strongly reflected from every object within the bounds of our hori- 
zon, and would produce such illumination as would dazzle every 
eye. The day would exhibit a greater brightness than it now does ; 
and our eyes, having become accustomed to it, might be enabled 
freely to expatiate on the surrounding landscape ; but everything, 
though enlightened, would appear confused, and particular objects 
would scarcely be distinguishable. A house or a tree near at hand 
might possibly be distinguished on account of its elevation above the 
general level of the ground, and rivers, and valleys, and other hollow 
places, by reason of their being depressed below it. But we should 
be obliged rather to guess and conjecture as to the particular objects 
we wished to distinguish than be able to arrive at any certain con- 
clusion concerning them; and if objects lay at a considerable dis- 
tance from us it would be impossible for us with any degree of pro- 
bability to distinguish one object from another. Notwithstanding 
the universal brightness of the scene the uniformity of color of every 
object would certainly prevent us from easily distinguishing them 
from one another. In such a condition human beings would be 
confounded, and friends and neighbors be at a loss to recognize each 

The heavens, too, would wear a uniform aspect; neither the moon 
nor planets would be visible to the eye, nor those numberless stars 
which now shine with such brilliancy and adorn the nocturnal sky ; 


for it is by the contrast produced by the white radiance of the stars, 
and the deep azure of the sky, that those distant bodies are rendered 
discernible. Were they depicted on a snow-white ground they 
would not be distinguishable from that ground, and consequently 
would be invisible. 

Of course, all that beautiful variety of aspect which now appears 
on our terrestrial scene, — the rich verdure of the fields, the dark green 
foliage of the stately forest trees, the rivers meandering through the 
valleys, and the splendid hues which variegate and adorn our gardens 
and meadows, the gay coloring of the morning and evening clouds, 
and all that variety which distinguishes the different seasons, — would 
not at all appear. As every landscape would exhibit nearly the same 
aspect, the poet, the philosopher, the antiquarian, the scholar, or the 
man of science, would have no inducement to visit distant countries 
to investigate the scenes of nature or the productions of jart; and 
tours from one region of the earth to another would scarcely be pro- 
ductive of enjoyment. 

The prevalence of any other single color would be attended with 
nearly the same results. Were a deep red to be uniformly spread 
over the scene of nature, it would not only be disagreeable to the 
eye, but prevent all distinction of objects. Were a dark blue or a 
deep violet to prevail, similar effects would follow, and the scene of 
nature would present a dismal and gloomy appearance. Even if all 
nature were arrayed in a robe of green, which is a more pleasing 
color to the eye, were it not diversified with the different shades 
which it now exhibits, every object would be equally undistinguish- 
able. Such would be the aspect of nature and the inconveniences 
to which human beings would be doomed, were it that the light 
which shone upon them was without that intermixture of colors 
which now appears over the face of all nature, and which serves to 
discriminate one object from another. Even our domestic apartments 
could not be decorated in the least degree, and the articles with 
which they would be furnished would be almost undistinguishable, 
so that in discriminating one object fi'om another, we would be as 
much indebted to the sense of touch as to the sense of sight. But 
worst of all would be the numerous delays, uncertainties, and per- 
plexities to which we should be subjected, were we under the neces- 
sity every moment of distinguishing objects by trains of reasoning, 
and by circumstances of time, place, and relative position. Au 
artificer, when commencing his work in the morning, with his 
numerous tools of nearly the same size and shape, would have to 
spend a considerable portion of his time before he could seject those 
he wanted to use, or the objects to which he wanted to apply them; 


and in every department of society, and in all intercourses of persons 
by travel from one place to another, similar inconveniences and per- 
plexities would occur. People would have to spend one-half their 
time in uncertain guesses and perplexing reasonings respecting the 
leal nature and individuality of objects, rather than in a consecutive 
train of thought, or a regular employment ; and after all the perplex- 
ities and conjectures they must remain in the utmost uncertainty 
and ignorance (^f the thousands of scenes and objects which are 
now obvious through the instrumentality of colors. 

For the existing state of things in the visible universe, and for 
thus enabling us to distinguish objects by such an easy and expe- 
ditious mode as that of color, which in a moment distinguishes every 
object and its several relations, we cannot but admire the wisdom 
and goodness of the Creator ! We rise in the morning to our respec- 
tive employments, and our tools, our books, and whatever is neces- 
sary for our subsistence and comforts, are at once discriminated. 
"Without the least hesitation, and without any perplexing process 
of reasoning, we can lay our hands upon whatever article we require. 
Color clothes every object in its peculiar livery, and infallibly directs 
the hand in its movements, and the eye in its surveys and observa- 
tions. But this is not the only end which is answered by the diver- 
sity of colors. They minister largely to our pleasures as well as to 
our wants. To those favored with a refined taste, as well as to 
almost every human being, the exquisite coloring of flowers, the 
delicate tints with which they are painted, the varied shades of green 
with which the hills and dales, the mountains and valleys, are ar- 
rayed, and that beautiful variety which appears on a bright summer's 
day on all the objects of universal nature, are sources of the purest 
enjoyment and delight. Color, too, as well as magnitude, adds to 
the sublimity of objects. Were the canopy of heaven of one uniform 
color, it would not produce those lofty conception.s, and those delight- 
ful and transporting emotions, which a contemplation of its august 
scener}^ never fails to inspire. The colors displayed in the solar 
light are common to all the globes which compose the solar system, 
and must necessarily be reflected in all their diversified hues from 
all objects on their surfaces. Some of the double stars appear to 
emit light of different hues, which is thought by some astronomers to 
arise from complementary colors. The larger star sometimes exhibits 
light of a ruddy or orange hue, and the smaller one a radiance 
which approaches to blue or green. There may, therefore, be some 
reason to conclude that the objects connected with the planets 
which revolve around such stars, being occasionally enlightened with 
suns of different hues, display a more diversified and splendid scenery 


of coloring than is ever beheld in our world ; and that one of the 
distingLiishing characteristics of different worlds in regard to their 
embellishments may consist in the variety and splendor of colors 
with which the objects connected with them are adorned. 

It need not be inferred from what has been said, that we intend 
to convey the idea that the light, or colors which human beings have * 
experienced in any past time were ever different to what we find 
them now to be. We believe, on the contrary, that light lias always 
been what it is now, and that it has always displayed a great variety 
of colors. Moreover, light, with its inherent colors, is a creation in 
the same sense as any otlier object is ; and in the same sense as any 
other natural object, it is an eternally created thing; that is to say, 
it has always been and always will be, created. It is a new manifesta- 
tion or combinaHon of matter, as a man, or a tree, or any other nat- 
ural object is a new manifestation or combination of matter. It is 
everywhere present in principle, and is always manifested wherever 
the conditions necessary for that manifestation exist. In this, as 
well as in many other arrangements in nature, we have a sensible 
proof of the presence and agency of that Almighty Intelligence in 
whom we live, and move, and have our being. None but an infinitely 
wise and beneficent Being, intimately j^resent in all places, could 
thus so regularly create in us, by means of color, those exquisite 
sensations which afford us so much delight, and which unite us, as 
it were, to everything around us. In the variety of hues spread over 
the face of creation we have as real a displa}^ of the Divine presence 
as Moses contemplated at the burning bush. The only difference 
is, that the one was out of the common order of Divine procedure, 
while the other is in accordance with those permanent laws which 
regulate the economy of the universe. In every color which we 
contemplate we have a sensible remembrancer of the presence and 
benevolence of that Being whose spirit hath garnished the heavens 
and the earth, and by whose power and agency we are every moment 
sustained in existence. Oh that men would, therefore, praise the 
Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children 
of men ! He givetli rain to the evil and the good, and causeth his 
sun to shine upon the just and upon the unjust ! 


The object of the science of Astronomy is to explain the motions 
and magnitudes of the earth and the heavenly bodies, their various 
aspects, and other facts which have been ascertained concerning 
them. It is a science that has to do with our subject, since it illus- 


trates the changes of place effected in the earth and the heavenly- 
bodies by their motions ; gives the mind a more expansive idea of 
the infinite. Creator, and gives it to understand that it cannot possL 
bly comprehend the mode of existence of that Being who is every- 
where present in essence and power, amid such varied and complex 
•changes and revolutions. 

It will first be expedient for ns to say a few words in relation to 
the apparent motion of the heavenly bodies during the day and night, 
and as to the form and motions of the earth, before proceeding to 
describe particularly the phenomena of the other heavenly bodies. 
When we look up toward the sky, we perceive an apparent concave 
hemisphere, placed at an indefinite distance from us, and surrounding 
the earth on every side. During the day the principal luminous 
object that appears in this hemisphere is the sun. In the morning 
we see him rise beyond the distant mountains or the extremity of the 
ocean ; he gradually ascends the vault of heaven, and then declines 
and disappears in the opposite quarter of the sky. In the northern 
parts of the globe, where we reside, if, about the 20th of March, we 
place ourselves in an open plain at about six o'clock in the morning, 
with our face toward the South, the snn will appear to rise on our 
left, or due East, and at about the same hour in the evening he will 
set on our right hand, or due West. This time is called the Vernal 
SJquinox, when day and night are equal. About the 21st of June he 
rises to our left, but somewhat behind us in the direction of the North- 
east, reaches a greater height at noon than on the 21st of March, and 
after describing a large circle in the heavens, sets on our right hand 
and still behind us, in the North-western quarter of the sky. This 
time is called the Summer solstice, or the time when the sun appears 

This diagram of the seasons will tend to illustrate the subject more clearly. It shows the 
positions of tlie signs of the Zodiac, Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, 
Sagittarius, Caprieoruus, Aquarius, Pisces. 


to stand still a few days, and then begins to retrace his steps. At 
this time the day is longest and the night shortest. At about the 
23d of September the sun again rises due East, and sets due West, 
as on the 20th of March ; and this is called the Autumnal Equinox, 
day and night being now again equal. At about the 21st of De- 
cember, if Ave observe from the same position, we may see, without 
turning our eyes, the points at which he rises and sets. He rises in 
the South-east, ascends to a small elevation at noon, and sets in the 
South-w<-st, after having described a very small arc in the heavens. 
This time is called the Winter solstice, when the sun seems to remain 
stationary for a short time, as it were, preparatory to his advancing 
to describe larger circles of the heavens. The day is now shortest 
and the night longest. Each succeeding day after this he appears 
to rise a little farther towards the East, for the stars which are seen 
to the Eastward of him appear every succeeding day to be nearer to 
the place where he is seen. All these various and successive changes 
are accomplished within the period of three hundred and sixty-five 
days, six hours, in which time he appears to have made a complete 
revolution round the heavens from West to East, at the rate of about 
one degree each day. 

The moon is the next object in the heavens which naturally at- 
tracts our attention, and she goes through similar changes in the 
course of a month. When she first becomes visible at new moon, 
she appears in the Western part of the heavens, near where the sun 
went down, and she appears in the form of a crescent, having the 
horns pointed toward the Esist, the sun being now to the Westward 
of her. Every night she appears increased in size and removed to a 
greater distance from the sun, until after the lapse of about two 
weeks, she appears in the Eastern part of the horizon, just as the sun 
disappears in the Western, at which time she presents a round, full, 
enlightened face, and is called /m^Z woon. After this she gradually 
moves farther and farther Eastward, and her enlightened part grad- 
ually decreases, until at last she seems to approach the sun as nearly 
in the East as she did in the West, and rises only a little before him 
in the morning, in the form of a crescent, having its horns pointed 
toward the West, the sun being now to the Eastward of her. All 
these different changes may be traced by attending to her apparent 
positions from time to time with respect to the fixed stars. 

Again, if on a winter evening, about six o'clock, we direct our 
view to the Eastern quarter of the sky, we shall perceive certain stars 
just risen above the horizon ; if we observe the same stars at mid- 
night, we shall see them at a considerable elevation in the South, 
having apparently moved over a space equal to one-half of the whole 


hemisphere. On the next morning, about six o'clock, the same stars 
will be seen to set in the Western part of the sky. If we now look 
quite toward the South, we shall find that the stars there only describe 
very small arcs, rising but a little above the horizon, and setting 
again, after a short time, not far from the same point ; the highest 
altitude attained at any time not being more than a few degrees. If 
we turn our eyes towards the North, we shall perceive a similar 
apparent motion of these twinkling orbs, but with this difference 
that a considerable number of them neither rise nor set, but seem to 
describe circles of greater or less diameter, round an apparently im- 
movable point, called the North Pole. Near this point is situated 
the pole star, which in our latitude appears elevated about half way 
between the horizon, and the zenith, or point directly over our heads ; 
and to a common observer seems fixed; but is found by the telescope 
to describe circles of about three degrees in diameter around the 
north polar point, from which the star is, therefore, really distant 
about one and a-half degrees. Thus, these Northern stars never set 
to us, but seem sometimes above, sometimes below, and sometimes to 
the East or to the West of the north polar point; the dimensions of 
the circles they describe depending upon their distances from the 
north pole ; and the time they occupy in completing their circles is 
about 24 hours ; or more accurately 23 hoars, 56 minutes, and 4 
seconds, that is, one day ; and they all finish their revolutions in 
exactly the same period of time. 

A person who has for the first time directed his attention to the 
heavens after having made such observations, will naturally enquire; 
whence come these stars that begin to appear in the East ? Whither 
have those gone that have disappeared in the West ? And wl:^at be- 
comes during the day of the stars which are visible during the night? 
It occurs at once to an intelligent observer who is convinced of the 
roundness of the earth, that the stars which rise above the Eastern 
horizon come from another hemisphere, Avhich we are apt to imagine 
below us, and Avhen they set return to that hemisphere again ; and 
that the reason why stars are not apparent during the day-time is not 
because they are absent from our hemisphere, or have ceased to shine, 
but because their light is obscured by the more vivid splendor of the 
sun. The fact of their presence in our hemisphere during the day is 
put beyond all doubt hj the use of the telescope, which instrument, 
adapted to an equatorial motion, enables us to see many of the stars 
even at noon-day. We ourself have seen with the naked e3'-e one of 
the planets at a pretty high elevation in the North-Eastei^n part of 
the heavens, on the forenoon of a day when the sun was shining 
brightly ; its appearance at that time excited the attention of many 



others also. From such observations we are led to conclude that the 
earth on which we dwell exists in empty space surrounded on all 
sides by the celestial vault, and that the whole sphere of the heavens 
has an apparent motion round the earth every twenty-four hours. 
Whether this motion be real or apparent is, however, determined by 
other considerations. 

Although such general views of the nocturnal heavens, which 
every common observer may take, have a tendency to expand the 
mind, and to elevate it to the contemplation of an invisible Power 
by which such movements are conducted ; yet such is the apathy 
with which the greater portion of mankind gaze at the heavens, that 
there are thousands who have occasionally viewed the stars for the 
space of fifty years, who are still ignorant of the fact t*hat they per- 
form an apparent diurnal revolution round our globe. 

Again, if we contemplate the heavens with some attention for a 
number of nights in succession, we shall find that by far the greater 
number of the stars never seem to alter their position with respect 
to each other. If we observe two stars at a certain apparent distance 
from each other either North or South, or in any other direction, they 

Fig. 'Jo. — The constki.i.ation okion. 

will appear at the same distance, and in the same relative position, 
the next evening, the next month, and the next year. The stars, 


for iustauce, which form the sword and belt of Orion, (which constel- 
lation may be seen during the winter in the Southern part of the 
heavens), present to our view the same figure and relative aspect 
during the whole period they are visible in winter, and from one 
year to another. And the same is the case with the stars of the Great 

Fig. 94. 

Bear, situated in the Northern parts of the sky,* and with all the 
fixed stars in the heavens. 

There is, however, another fact with respect to the general 
appearance of the sky, wliich the observer can likewise verify for 
himself. Having fixed upon any bright star, let him observe it 
carefully on any evening at the exact time of its passing the merid- 
ian, or of its disappearance behind some conspicuous object, say a 
tree, or a church steeple. Let him observe it again on the follow- 
ing evening, and again after the lapse of a few days more, and he 

* Figure 93 represents the constellation Orion; 94 represents the constellations of the Great 
Bear, the Little Bear, and the Pole Star. The seven stars in the lower part of the fisiire rejire- 
sent Ursa JMajor, or the Great Bear, sometimes known as the Plow and Charles' Wain. The 
seven stars in the upper part represent Uisa Minor, or the Little Bear, the largest star of which 
on the right hand side is the pole star. The two stars on the right hand side of the Great Bear 
are called the Pointers, because they point straight toward the north pole, and they are distant 
from each other about 5°. If a line connecting these two stars be considered as prolonged up- 
wards to a considerable distance, about 29°, until it meet the first bright star, that star is the 
pole star, which is here represented at the highest part of the figure. About the beginning of 
November, at 6 or 7 o'clock in the evening, the Great Bear will appear near the north, at a low 
elevation above the horizon, nearly in the position rejjresented in the figure. Let an observa- 
tion be made about the middle of April, at 10 o'clock in the evening, the Great Bear will appear 
almost directly over our heads, above the pole star; and then we must conceive the line joining 
the two pointers as drawn doivnwards toward the pole star. At different times of the night, 
and at different seasons of the year, the Great Bear will appear to be in different positions with 
respect to the pole star, sometimes below, sometimes above, and sometimes to the East or West 
of it. But in all positions a line drawn through the pointers will direct the eye to the pole star. 


will find that the star is a little earlier every day in arriving at the 
place. Thus, if it be on the meridian, or in a line with the marking 
object, at nine o'clock one day, it will be there about four minutes 
before nine on the next, and so on. It is owing to this that we see 
different constellations at different seasons of the year. Many of 
those which shine brightly on a winter's night are above the horizon 
in summer, during the day-time, and hence are invisible. In this 
way, we see by far the' larger portion of the stars at some time or 
other of the year ; but just as those stars within fifty degrees of the 
north pole never set to us, so those within a similar distance of the 
south pole never rise at all in our latitudes. Among the most bril- 
liant of the constellations thus hidden from us is» that called the 
Southern Cross, and when travellers are going toward the southern 
hemisphere they anxiously await the first appearance of this constel- 
lation. As they approach the tropics and the equator the north pole 
star seems to sink lower and lower in the sky, and the number of 
stars which never set in our latitudes become less and less, till, when 
they reach the equator, the pole is in their horizon, and all the stars 
are seen rising in the east, remaining visible exactly twelve hours, 
and then setting in the western horizon. They all appear here also 
to travel in straight lines instead of in curves, as they appear to do 
in the north and south latitudes. By placing an artificial globe so 
that its axis is horizontal, and its pole in the horizon, one may 
obtain a representation of these phenomena. 

But while the fixed stars never appear to alter their positions in 
relation to each other, we find, by a close inspection of the sky, 
another class of bodies, which regularly shift their positions ; some- 
times these appeal? to move towards the east, sometimes towards the 
west, and sometimes to remain stationary. These bodies have 
received the name of planets, or wandering stars, in opposition to 
those which do not alter their position, and are hence called fixed 
stars. In our latitudes the planets are most frequently seen in the 
eastern and western, or in the southern quarters of the heavens ; 
and they are situated, with the exception of a few of the minor ones, 
in a belt called the zodiac, extending for nine degrees on both sides 
of the ecliptic (this is the apparent path of the sun) ; and hence the 
planets are easily found by observers. More than one hundred of 
these planetary orbs have been discovered, six of which were known 
in times of great antiquity, and only about five are visible to the 
naked eye. By long continued and careful observations of the 
aspects and motions of these planets, astronomers have determined 
that they all move round the sun as the centi-e of their motions, and 
form, along with the earth, one grand and harmonious system. This 


assemblage of heavenly bodies, iu connection with the earth, is termed 
the solar sj^stem, of which we shall exhibit a brief description after 
Ave shall have shown the ball of the earth to be in motion. 

For a long time during the dark ages, and the infancy of science, 
the earth on which we live was considered the largest body in the 
universe. It was supposed to be an immense plane, diversified with 
inequalities in the shape of mountains and valleys, and stretching 
out to an unlimited extent on all sides, bounded by the sk3^ What 
was below this immense mass of land and water, and how it was sup- 
ported, none ventured positively to tell; though some of the Chris- 
tian fathers strenuously asserted that the earth was extended in- 
finitely downwaa-d, and established on several foundations ; a plain 
contradiction, for what is infinite cannot have a foundation. Ac- 
cording to the ideas of some of the ancients, however. Atlas bore up 
the world on his shoulders ; and many of the Hindoos of the present 
day assert that it is supported bj^ a serpent and a tortoise ; but it is 
clear that these attempted solutions of the diificulty, as the founda- 
tions of the Christian fathers, only remove it one step farther ; for 
we should have to seek some support for the man and the serpent. 
Such, however, were some of the absurd and foolish opinions of 
those who viewed the system of the universe through a false me- 
dium, and who were ignorant of the facts and principles of modern 
science. It is only within the period of the last three centuries that 
the true figure and dimensions of the earth have been accurately as- 
certained. This figure is noAv found to be that of a sphere or globe, 
deviating, however, from the perfect spherical form, only so slightly 
that it could not be perceived in any model we could make of it. 
Suppose, for instance, we made a globe of thirty inches diameter, the 
difference between the polar and equatorial diameters would be only 
y-J-Qth of an inch, a difference too small for the keenest eye to detect. 
The real dimensions of the earth's diameters are found to be as fol- 
lows : The greater, or equatorial, diameter, 7925^ miles ; the lesser 
or polar, diameter, 7899 miles ; showing a difference of a little over 
twenty-six miles. We do not know but that further investigations 
will make this difference even less, so that the earth may be regarded 
as a perfect sphere. That this is in reality the form of the earth will 
appear from such considerations as the following : when Ave stand 
by the sea shore on a calm day Ave easily perceive that the surface 
of the water is not quite plane, but someAAdiat convex or rounded; 
and if we are on the shore of an arm of the sea, three or four miles 
broad, placing our ej'^es near the level of the water, and looking 
along its surface toward the opposite shore we plainly see the water 
elevated about midway between our eyes and the opposite shore, so 


as to prevent us seeing the objects which are near the edge of the 
water there. If we make the same experiment on a lake of three or 
four miles in extent, a small boat near the end of the lake may be 
seen by one who is at some height above the water ; but if we lay 
our eye near the surface the view of the boat will be intercepted by 
the convexity of the water, which proves the lake to be a small seo- 
ment of a globe. On land, it is seldom a large tract of land can be 
chosen sufficiently level to answer the purpose of making such ex- 
periments, as even in large planes there are frequently undulations 
which materially alter the earth's natural convexity. Again, when 
we view a ship departing from the coast in any direction as it retires 
from our view we still see the masts and rigging of the vessel, when 
the hull has disappeared, and has sunk, as it were, beyond the boun- 
daries of our sight. First we lose sight of the hull, then of the sails, 
and last of all of the topmast. On the other hand, when a ship is 
approaching the shore, the first part of it which is visible when at a 
considerable distance is the topmast ; as it approaches nearer the 
sails come into view ; and last of all the hull gradually comes within 

--'-^ " Fig. 95. 

Here only that part of the sliip above the line A C can be seen by the spectator C : the rest of 
the ship is hidden by tlie swell of the curve D E. 

the limits of our sight ; but the vessel will pass over several miles of 
the sea, from the time of our first perceiving the topmast until the 
hull appears in sight. In order that such observations should be 
made with accuracy it is requisite that a telescope should be used. 

Fig. 96. 
What is it then that prevents the hull of the ship, the largest part of 
it, from being seen Avhen the topmasts are visible ? It is evidently 
the round or convex surface of the water, bulging up, as it were, be- 
tween our eye and the lower part of the ship. When the ship is at 
a certain distance from us, when the hull has just begun to disap- 
pear from a person standing on the surface of the ground, the whole 
will be visible to an observer on an elevated building ; and if there 
be a lofty mountain near by the vessel will be seen from this after 
everv portion of it is hidden from those on the beach. See Fig. 96. 



This proves without doubt that the earth's surface is round; and, in 
fact, a rough estimate of the size of the earth maj"- be formed in this 
way. We have only to fix upon two elevations of equal height, as, 
for instance, marked places on the masts of two vessels, and ascer- 
tain the exact distance at which they are hidden from each other by 
the curvature of the earth. We must also know the elevation of the 
marked places on the masts above the level of the sea, and then by 
a simple proportion we shall obtain the diameter of the earth. The 
question is stated thus : As the height of the station of observation 
is to the distance of the visible horizon (which is half the distance 
between the two stations), so is this distance to the diameter of the 
earth. By another calculation it is found that two places elevated 
ten feet become hidden from one another at a distance a little short 
of eight miles ; that is to say, a straight line drawn from one of these 
to the other would just touch the earth midway between them. The 
curvature then may be set down as ten feet in 3s miles ; and the 
proportion is as follows : As 10 feet : 3| : : 3g miles : the diameter 
of the earth. This gives 7828^ miles for the earth's diameter, Avhich 
is not far from correct. But the more accurate and philosophical 
mode of ascertaining its dimensions is by measuring an arc of the 
meridian, a process which enables us accurately to determine the 
length of a degree of latitude from the equator to the pole. 

Now as such appearances as those we have mentioned, with re- 
spect to the water's surface and the ship, are observed on ever}^ sea 
and ocean on the face of the earth, it follows that the ocean at large 
is a convex surface, or a portion of a globe ; and the waters cover 
more than three-fourths of the earth's surface ; and if tlie ocean, con- 
stituting three-fourths of the earth, be globular, so also is the land, 
the remaining one-fourth, notwithstanding that the hills and the 
mountains form a few inequalities on its surface ; for the regions of 
the land are all nearly on a level with the ocean, with the exception 
of the ranges of elevated mountains. The height of the table-lands 
and mountain ranges bears such a small proportion to the actual di- 
ameter of the earth, that they in no way interfere with its general 
spherical outline. The greatest elevations are only about five miles, 
and there are l)ut a few of these ; Avhile the diameter of the earth is 
about 8000 miles. If then Ave would accurately represent these on 
a globe having a diameter of 16 inches, we must make them y-j^-Qth of 
an inch high; or they might be well represented by very small grains 
of sand. The thinnest tissue-paper Avould fully represent the eleva- 
tion of table-lands ; and minute scratches, almost invisible without 
a microscope, would show the mountain gorges and valleys of rivers ; 
so for all ordinary purposes the earth is considered absolutely spher- 


On the other hand, were the surface of the sea a level plane the 
appearances would be very different. A straight line might be drawn 
from an object, as a ship, upon it, from any distance out, to the 
shore. In this case any object on the earth or sea would be visible 
at any distance, vvhich was not so great as to make its appearance too 
small or faint to be perceived. An object would be visible at the 
same distance whether the eye were situated high or low. Sailors 
would not in such a case have to climb to the topmast in order to 
descry ships or other objects at a distance, for they could see them 
just as plain and at as great a distance from the deck, after the ob- 
jects had come within visible distance. The largest and not the 
highest objects would be visible at the greatest distance. The top- 
mast of a ship would first disappear, and the hull, as being the largest 
object, would be the longest visible ; but this is contrary to all ex- 
perience. The considerations already adduced are, therefore, clear 
and decisive proofs that the earth is not an extended plane, but a 
globular body ; and it seems truly wonderful that such a conclusion 
was not generally arrived at until a comparatively recent date. 

Moreover, tliat the earth is round from east to west is clear from 
the fact that navigation has long been conducted on that principle 
with the greatest precision, and that navigators have repeatedly 
sailed around it from east to Avest. They have set sail from England, 
crossed the Atlantic, rounded Cape Horn, sailed along the Pacific 
Ocean to the northern coasts of Australia, crossed the Indian Ocean, 
and, passing the Cape of Good Hope, have again arrived, by travers- 
ing the Atlantic, at the port whence they set sail. These experi- 
ments, therefore, show that the earth is round from east to west, but 
they do not prove that it is also round from north to south, for it 
has never been actually circumnavigated in that direction, owing to 
the obstruction caused to navigation by the immense masses of ice 
Avithin the polar regions. Had Ave, therefore, no other proof of the 
earth's rotundit}'' than this, Ave might be apt to suppose it somewhat 
resembling the shape of a cylinder; but that the earth is really 
round from north to south appears from the following considerations. 
When Ave travel a considerable distance from north to south, or from 
south to north, a number of new stars successiA'^ely arise in the 
quarter of the heavens (whichever it may be) to Avhich Ave are ad- 
vancing, and many of those in the opposite quarter gradually disap- 
pear. For example, in sailing toward the south, Avhen Ave approach 
tlie equator the brilliant constellation called the Southern Cross, 
before mentioned, Avliich is never seen in our northern latitudes, 
makes its appearance ; and if Ave go farther south the constellations 
of the Great Bear, Cassiopeia, and other stars, visible in our northern 


sky, will entirely disappear, which could not happen if the earth 
were a plane in that direction ; for in such a case all the stars of 
heaven would be visible in every point from the north to the south 
pole. Another corroborative proof of the earth's globularity is this. 
In excavating a canal of any length, in order to have the waters on 
a level, certain allowances require to be made for the earth's convex- 
ity. The slope required to be made on this account is about eight 
inches in the mile, thirty-two inches in two miles, and so on, increas- 
ing with the square of the distance. If the earth were a level surface 
no allowances of this kind would need to be made in order that the 
water in a long canal might stand on a level. 

But another most evident and conclusive proof of the earth's 
rotundity is that afforded in the shape of its shadow. The earth is 
an opaque body, shines by reflected light ; and, must, therefore, cast 
a dark shadow in the direction opposite to the sun ; but the shape of 
this shadow can only be seen Avhen there is some solid body on 
which it can be thrown. Now there is but one body which ever 
comes near enough to the earth to receive this, and this body is the 
moon. When, therefore, the lunar eclipse happens, if we watch the 
moon as it enters the shadow of the earth, and again as it emerges 
from it, we shall find that the dark line of the shadow on the moon's 
disc is always curved to an arc of a circle. The earth therefore must 
either be a globe or a flat circular disc, and at first sight we might 
incline to the latter -view, and imagine, with some of the ancients, 
that we dwell on a flat surface, like the top of around table. When, 
however, we remember that in all cases and in every position of the 
t:arth and moon at the time of an eclipse the shadow is always circu- 
lar^ we are assured that the earth must be globular, as no other 
figure could always cast a circular shadow. 

It is to be presumed that after the sensible and undeniable de- 
monstrations that have been given of the rotundity of the earth, none 
of our readers will have any doubts left that the earth in which Ave 
live is of globular form, but there may still be some who are not yet 
convinced that it moves round its axis, and with immense velocity, 
through the regions of space, in company with the other planets. On 
this subject, therefore, we shall now offer a few considerations tend- 
ing to show that the earth we inhabit, however steadfast it may 
appear to the eye of sense, is really a moving body, and that it moves 
with a velocity far greater than we are accustomed to see around us, 
There are two different motions considered as connected with the 
earth ; one by which it is viewed as turning round its axis every 
twenty-four hours, and producing the succession of day and night ; 
and another by which it moves round the sun every year, bringing 
about the changes of the seasons. 



We shall here chiefly illustrate those arguments by which its 
diurnal motion may be demonstrated, and its annual motion after- 
wards. In the first place then there is one thing of which all feel 
certain ; that is, that motion does actually exist, either in the earth 
or in all the heavenly bodies around the earth. We behold every 
day the sun apparently moving from the eastern to the western 
horizon. We observe also all the stars apparently moving in a body 
round the earth in the course of twenty-four hours, and in the man- 
ner described above. Such observations, which everyone has it in 
their power to make, clearly show, that there is motion somewhere , 
and the question is, is this only apparent with respect to the heavens, 
or is it the motion of the earth that produces this appearance ? Let 
us suppose for a moment that it is the earth which moves ; what will 
be the rate of its motion in turning round its axis to produce the 
apparent revolution of the heavens ? For if the earth really revolves 
round its axis from west to east, the heavens will, of course, appear 
to revolve round us from east to west, just as when one is on board 
a steamboat on a river, and not noticing the motion of the vessel, he 
sees the trees and other objects on the bank, apparently moving in 
the opposite dii'ection to that in which the vessel is really going. The 
same kind of appearances often happen to a person sitting in a rail- 
road car when in motion ; one is apt to think the fields and fences, 
the whole side of the country, to be moving in the contrary direction 
to that of the cars' motion. The rate of the earth's motion will de- 
pend upon its magnitude. Now we know that the earth is a globe 
somewhat more than twenty-four thousand miles in circumference, 
and consequently in turning round every twenty-four hours some 
portions of its surface must move, at least, a thousand miles every 
hour. This is a motion far more rapid than has ever been produced 
in the smallest bodies by human 
art ; and, thei'efore. it may appear 
incredible to some that such a 
motion can exist in a globe of such 
vast dimensions as the earth. But 
if such pei'sons deny that the earth 
thus moves then they must admit 
that the heavens move. There is 
no alternative, for motion actually 
exists either in the one or in the 
other. Now if the motion is to be 
considered as existing in tlie hea- 
vens, let us see what the rate of 
this motion must necessarily be. 


If a small globe of eighteen inches diameter and a globe of two thou- 
sand yards, or seventy-two thousand inches in diameter were each 
supposed to perform a revolution round its axis and to finish a 
rotation in the same time, this large globe would move with a velo- 
city four thousand times greater than the other. In the annexed 
figure, if A B in the centre, represent the earth, then if the circle 
C E revolve around it in a certain time, and the other two 
circles revolve round it in the same time, it is certain that the 
circle F H must revolve with a quicker motion than the circle 
C E : and the circle I L with a still greater velocity, in proportion 
to its greater distance from the centre of motion A B. We shall 
consider then what would be the rate of motion of some of the 
heavenly bodies whose distances from the earth are known. The 
sun is ascertained to be somewhat near ninety-five millions of miles 
distant from the earth; and, consequently, were he to move round 
the earth every day, as he appears to do, he would move along a cir- 
cumference of five hundred and ninety-seven millions of miles every 
day ; that is, at the rate of about twenty-four millions of miles an 
hour, four hundred and fourteen thousand miles a minute, and six 
thousand nine hundred miles a second. Again the planet Uranus at 
its nearest point to tlie earth is more than one thousand seven hun- 
dred millions of miles distant ; and consequently the circumference 
of its orbit is more than ten thousand six hundred millions of miles. 
If, therefore, this planet were supposed to move round the earth 
every day, its motions would be at the rate of four hundred and 
forty-five millions of miles in an hour, seven millions four hundred 
and twenty thousand miles in a minute, and one hundred and twenty- 
three thousand six hundred and seventj^-seven miles every second. 
Again the nearest fixed stars are known not to be within 20,000,000,-- 
000,000, or twenty billions of miles off the earth ; and consequently 
their daily circuit round our globe would measure 125,000,000,- 
000,000, or one hundred and twenty-five billions of miles ; this is at 
the rate of fourteen hundred millions of miles in the space of a single 
second, or the interval of time which the pendulum of a common 
clock takes in moving from one side to the other ; stars at distances 
hundreds of times greater, of which there are many in our firmament, 
would move with a rapidit}" of hundreds of times swifter; and those 
still further removed from us in the depths of immensity with a velo- 
city far exceeding human conception; yet all the stars of heaven 
appear to move round our globe every t\yenty-four hours. If the 
circle C D E of the figure represent the supposed diurnal orbit of 
the sun ; F G H that of Uranus ; and I K L ]\I that of some of the 


fixed stars ; then it is evident that in proportion to the distance of 
the body from the earth will the velocity of its motion be, if it be sup- 
posed to move round the earth. 

If, therefore, there be any reader disposed to reject the motion of 
the earth because it is inconceivable he must necessarily admit of 
motions ten hundred thousand times greater and far more incompre- 
hensible ; more especially when it is considered that the bodies in 
the heavens to which we have alluded are incomparably greater than 
the globe of earth on which we live ; the planet Uranus being eighty 
times, and the sun more than one million three hundred thousand 
times larger than the earth, and the fixed stars on an average as large 
as the sun. Such a rate of motion in such a number of magnificent 
globes appear altogether overwhelming, incomprehensible, and in- 

The question, then, that is to be decided is, which of the motions 
to which we have referred is the most probable, — the motion of the 
earth or that of the heavens? Is it really necessary that the whole 
universe, composed of sun, moon, planets, comets, stars, and nebulse, 
should move round our globe with such astonishing velocities in 
order to produce the alternate succession of day and night on the 
earth ? Reason says that it is not. It would contradict all our ideas 
of the simple and reasonable operations of nature, and of the intel- 
ligence of the Deity. The succession of day and night can be 
accomplished by a simple rotation of the earth on its axis, which is 
found to completely account for all the apparent diurnal revolutions of 
the celestial bodies. This is understood to be the case with the other 
planets of the solar system. The planet Jupiter is fourteen hundred 
times larger than the earth, and is said to move round its axis in less 
than ten hours, at the rate of 28,000 miles an hour, which is a veloc- 
ity twenty-eight times greater than that of the earth, supposing the 
latter to move round its axis. The planet Saturn is about a thousand 
times larger than our globe, and it is said to revolve round its axis 
in ten hours and a-half, at the rate of 24,000 miles an hour in those 
places near its equator. To a spectator then, placed on these planets, 
the heavens would appear to revolve around him every ten hours, 
as they appear to us to revolve every twenty-four hours, but Avith 
an apparently more rapid motion ; while he, himself, might sup- 
pose, as we are apt to do, that the planet on which he is is really at 
rest. The earth, therefere, must be considered as revolving round 
its axis, in accordance with the revolutions of the other planets of the 
system to which it belongs ; and to suppose otherwise would be in 
opposition to all the laws Avliich govern the material universe, and 


^ould distort all our ideas of the harmony and order of the opera- 
tions of nature. 

Another consideration which demonstrates the diurnal motion of 
the earth is this ; that such a rate of motion in the heavenly bodies 
as has now been stated would shatter the material universe to atoms. 
Were a ball of soft wood projected from a cannon at the rate of 800 
miles an hour, in a few moments it would be reduced to splinters ; 
and hence the forage and other light substances projected from a 
pieoe of ordnance are instantly torn to pieces. What then might be 
•supposed to be the consequence, were a body impelled through the 
'etilelial regions with a velocit}^ of a hundred thousand millions of 
miles in a minute, as multitudes of the stars behoved to be, were the 
earth at rest in the centre of the universe? It would undoubtedly 
reduce to atoms the most solid bodies in existence, though they were 
composed of substances harder than adamant. 

Another corroborative argument which astronomers bring forward 
in support of the motion of the earth is this : that there is no in- 
stance known in the universe of a larger body revolving round a 
smaller one. We do not find, say they, such planets as Jupiter and 
Saturn revolving round their satellites ; but all these satellites, which 
are much smaller than their primaries, perform their revolutions 
around the latter as the centre of their motions. The earth, which 
is fifty times greater than the moon, does not revolve round her, but 
that nocturnal luminary regularly revolves round the earth. The 
sun does not revolve round the planets Mercury or Venus, which are 
thousands of times less than that luminary, but they invariably re- 
volve around him as their centre of attraction, light, and heat. As 
the sun is over one million three hundred thousand times larger than 
the earth it cannot, therefore, be supposed for a moment that such 
an enoi-mous globe would revolve with such an inconceivably rapid 
motion round so inconsiderable a ball as the earth, and much less 
that the whole universe should revolve around it every day. Were 
the earth not revolving around its circumference every day there 
would be an infraction of all the laws which are known to govern 
the system of universal nature; and, therefore, it is absolutely neces- 
sary to admit its motion in order to direct our views and to become 
fully convinced of the systematic order and harmonj^ of the opera- 
tions of universal nature. What would be thought of a machine (if 
such could be conceived to be constructed) as large as the cit}^ of 
London, or any other large city, bearing a huge lamp near its centre, 
and revolving daily round a little ball of one inch in diameter, sus- 
pended in empty space, merely for the purpose of giving light and 


heat to the surface of this little ball, when, at the same time, a revo- 
lution of the ball round its axis would answer the same purpose ? 
The designer and constructor of such a system, however ingenious 
he might be thought by some for his great contrivance, would justly, 
by all wise men, be considered insane for having so disproportioned 
means to ends in the accomplishment of his object. Such a scheme, 
however, absurd as it seems, would not be half so preposterous as to 
suppose the vast universe to turn round so inconsiderable a ball as 
the earth to produce the alternate succession of day and night, when 
the same object could be effected by the earth's simply revolving 
round its axis once in twenty-four hours. But the whole system 
of universal nature is proportionate as to its constituent parts, 
and their operations ; none of its parts, are unnecessary ; none of its 
operations take place inconsistently with infinite intelligence and 
wisdom; and its operations all appear simple and reasonable when 
rightly considered. Now, all these supposed inconsistencies and im- 
possibilities, which we have been considering, are at once got rid of, 
and complete, universal harmony and order restored, by the admis- 
sion of the rotation of the earth round its axis every day. 

Circles, Degrees, etc., explained. 

If we refer to an ordinary terrestrial globe, such for example as 
those used in schools and colleges, we shall find that there are several 
circles drawn upon it, and we shall also observe that these are of 
different sizes, those called parallels of latitude near the poles and 
the polar circles being much smaller than those nearer the circle 
called the equator. These circles are accordingly divided into 
two classes, called respectively great and small circles. Great 
circles are those whose plane passes through the centre of the 
globe, so that they divide it into two equal portions; and, assuming 
the earth to be a perfect sphere, all 
these great circles will be exactly 
equal. All other circles are called 
small circles. The most import- 
ant of the great circles is the equa- 
tor, which is an imaginary line 
drawn round the earth, equally 
distant from the north and south 
poles, and therefore dividing the 
globe into two equal halves, called 
the northern and southern hemi- 
spheres. If now we conceive theplane 


of this circle to be extended to the sky, we shall have a great circle of the 
heavens, known as the ce/es^iaZ equator, or more usually the equinoctial. 
This latter term is derived from two Latin words signifying " equal " 
and "night," and is applied to it because when the sun appears to be 
on this line it shines equall}- on both hemispheres ; and day and night 
are then of equal length in all parts of the earth, the sun being above 
the horizon at everyplace for about 12 hours, and below it for about the 
same length of time. The days on which this happens are the 20th of 
March and the 23d of September; and b}- counting the days between 
these dates we shall find that in the northern hemisphere the summer 
is a few days longer than the winter; or in other w^ords, that the 
period during which the sun is north of the equator is a few days 
longer than that during which he is south of it. 

The sun's apparent path is not, however, along the equinoctial, 
but in a great circle, inclined to it at the present time at an angle of 
about 28° 27' 30", and known as the ecliptic. Round this the sun 
appears to travel, performing the complete circuit of it in the space 
of one year. The space extending for 9° on both sides of the ecliptic, 
and thus constituting a band or zone 18° wide, is known as the 
zodiac ; and within this space, as we have already explained, all the 
planets, Avith the exception of a few of the minor ones, are constantly 
found ; so that we can alw^ays tell somewhat of the position in which 
they are. The zodiac is divided into twelve equal portions, each 
containing 30°, and the stars in these spaces are mapped out into the 
constellations known as the " signs of the zodiac," which we shall 
notice hereafter. 

As we shall have frequent occasion to speak of degrees it is well 
that it be clearly understood what is ' meant by a degree, and the 
mode in which it is measured. It is evidently necessary for us to 
have some means of measuring the distances of the heavenl}' bodies 
from one another, and this can only be done by measuring the angle 
which imaginar}' lines, drawn from them to our eye, subtend. By a 
little consideration we shall find that it is in the same way we form 
our» estimate of the dimensions of ordinary objects around us, and 
hence when we bring them nearer to our eye they appear larger, be- 
cause the rays coming from their extremes to our eye contain a 
larger angle. Now we want some means of measuring and express- 
ing in words the angle thus contained, and this we do by means of 
degrees and fractions of a degree. A degree then is the 360th part 
of a circle ; that is, if we draw a large circle on paper, for example, 
and divide its circumference into 360 equal parts, and then draw 
straight lines from these divisions to the centre of the circle, the 


angle contained between any two adjacent lines will be just one 
degree. On any circle we can draw on paper these divisions will 
necessarily be very small ; when, however, we deal with a globe like 
the earth we find that a degree at the equator measures about 69 

In a right angle there are, of course, ninety degrees, and if we 
can make a triangle with three equal sides, each angle will contain 
just sixty degrees. A degree is divided into sixty parts called 
minutes (^minute ■psLrts') ; each of, these is divided into sixty parts, called 
seconds ; and in more delicate and accurate observations each of these 
is again divided into sixty parts, called thirds. These divisions are 
usually expressed by the signs for degrees ("), minutes ('), seconds 
("), thirds ('") ; thus 16°, 37', 6", 15'". As a general guide to us in 
estimating approximately the distances or dimensions of the heavenly 
bodies it will be expedient to remember that the apparent diameter 
of the sun or moon is about half a degree ; the distance between the 
pointers in the Great Bear is six degrees, and that between the pole 
star and the pointer nearest to it about twenty-four degrees. By 
means of an accurately graduated semi-circle Ave can easily measure 
any angle, and ascertain the number of degrees it contains. 

We have stated above that the inclination of the ecliptic to the 
equator, or, as it is termed the " obliquity of the ecliptic " is nearly 
23i degrees. This amount, however, is not constantly the same, but 
varies a little in the lapse of centuries. The rate of this variation is 
very slight, being less than 1' in 100 years, and it is found that it can 
only take place within very narrow limits. At present it is decreas- 
ing, but before it can have deviated as much as a degree and a-half 
the causes producing it will have been so modified as to act in a con- 
trary direction, and increase the inclination again. All through 
astronomy instances are met with of these slow and gradual varia- 
tions ; but all are confined within very narrow limits, and instead of 
tending to a total change in the status of the earth or the system to 
which it belongs, they tend to the permanency of the system. 

Now since these two great circles are thus inclined there must be 
two points in which they intersect one another, and these are called 
the equinoctial points, or the vernal and autumnal equinoxes. One 
of these is the first degree in the sign Ay-ies, and the other the first 
in Libra. The first of these, or the vernal equinox, is the most im- 
portant, as it is taken as the fixed point to be employed in measuring- 
distances from, when we want to indicate the place of any body. 
We then take the equinoctial or equator as our base line, and first 
of all measure the distance of any star north or south of that. On a 



terrestrial globe parallels of latitude, are drawn at distances of ten 
degrees.* It must be remembered that when we speak of degrees of 
latitude what Ave really mean is the inclination, which a straight 
line drawn from the place to the earth's centre would have to the 
plane of the equator. A degree is a measure of an angle, and not of 
a distance. It is well that this point should be clearly understood, 
as mistakes often arise through want of understanding it. Some 
folks will say, " a degree equals somewhat over sixt3'"-nine miles," 
when what they really mean is that at the equator two lines meeting 
at the earth's centre, inclined to one another at this angle, would in- 
clude between them a portion of the earth's surface of that length. 
On Jupiter, or any globe larger than the earth, the amount thus sub- 
tended at the equator would naturally be much greater ; and on the 
other hand, in any small circle which we may draw on a piece of 
paper there is still 360° ; each degree, therefore, is very minute. 

In astronomy, the distance north or south of the equinoctial is 
called the declination of a heavenly body. If now we draw another 
great circle passing through the poles, and also through the star, it 
will intersect the equator in two places, and the one of these on the 
same side as that on which the star is situated will furnish us with 
the other distance required. 

If we examine the equinoctial on a celestial globe, we shall find 
that it is divided into degrees from 0°, to 360°, reckoning from east 
to west, the starting point being the first point of Aries. 

The great circles to which we have referred, as passing through 
the poles perpendicular to the equator, are called meridians, and any 
number of them might be drawn ; usually, however, twenty-four are 
drawn on the globe, their distance apart being fifteen degrees. They 
are then frequently termed hour lines, as the firmament seems to 
move just the interval between two of them in the space of an hour. 

* In figure 98, the line P P represents the earth's 
axis, that is, the diameter of the sphere passing through 
tlie poles P P, and the centre C. The great circle E Q 
represents the equator, the great circle S T the ecliptic; 
the points R and O, where it intersects the equator, 
are called the nodes, and also the equinoctial points; 
and the points S and T, its farthest points north and 
south of the equator, are called the solstices; respect- 
ively the summer and winter solstice. The two small 
circles jM S, and T N, parallel to the equator, are called 
the tropics, that to the north the tropic of Cancer; and 
that to the south the tropic of Capricorn. Now terres- 
trial parallels of latitude are small circles drawn par- 
allel to the earth's equator ; while celestial parallels of 
latitude are drawn on the celestial globe parallel to the ecliptic. The two great circles iM P Q 
N P T E, and R P P (if the latter be conceived as a great cirele at right angles with the 
other), are called respectively the solstitial and equinoctial colures. 


We can obtain a clearer idea of these meridians by taking the globe 
out of its framework, and letting the brass meridian be free to turn 
round on its poles ; we can then bring it over any star or place, and 
it will represent the meridian of that place. We shall likewise be 
able to see on the equator, the distance of its intersection from the 
first point in Aries. This distance is known as the right ascension, 
usually abbreviated thus, R. A. Thus, we see the way in which the 
position of a star is determined, the two measures being its right 
ascension and its declination. Suppose, for example, we wish to 
point out the place of a star in the tip of the tail of the Great Bear, 
we first find it on the globe, and bringing it to the brass meridian, 
we shall find that its elevation above the equinoctial is very nearly 
50°, this is its declination. We now look to the equinoctial, and find 
the point of it directly under the meridian is 204°, or 13 hours, 36 
minutes, from Aries ; and thus vi^e assign its place as 50° north de- 
clination, and 204° right ascension. In a similar way when the right 
ascension and declination are given, the star can be found. 

If we examine a celestial globe we shall find that though the 
mark T, signifying the commencement of the sign Aries, is placed at 
the intersection of the equinoctial and the ecliptic, yet the portion 
of the zodiac commencing at that sign is in reality occupied by the 
constellation Pisces. The stars forming Aries are moved 30° to the 
east, occupying the place assigned to Taurus, and all the other 
zodiacal constellations are moved one sign to the eastward. The cause 
of this is the precession of the equinoxes, which was first discovered 
by Hipparchus in the second century B. C. The points of intersec- 
tion of the equator and the ecliptic, or as they are usually termed 
the nodes, do Jiot remain constantly in the same place, but are slowly 
moving toward the west, that is in a retrograde direction. This was 
first observed by noticing that the right ascensions of all stars were 
slowly and uniformly increasing. This could only be accounted for 
in one of two ways ; either they must all be slowly moving forwards, 
or the point from which we measure their right ascension must be 
moving backwards. The latter of these explanations, being by far the 
most simple, has been adopted. The rate of this motion is but slow, so 
that its effect on the position of the stars from year to year can only 
be ascertained by the most careful and delicate observations. When 
however, we compare the position of a star with that assigned to it 
by observers a few centuiies ago Ave soon become aware of the change. 
The most careful observations fix the annual amount of this motion 
at 50" 2'"; so that the time occupied by the nodes in making a com- 
plete circuit of the heavens would be a little more than 25,900 years. 
* By reckoning backward it is found that the constellations and the 

*In the regrees of the nodee from 0° Anes to 181° in Libra, and then arrain to 0^ Arie>i, those climatic 
changes are occasioned which at certain stages are so disastrons to life. The gradnal progress of 
those changes enables the species to seek more congenial latitudes. Formerly the codes were gener- 
ally said to retrograde 64" in a year, or 15° in 1,00U years. 


signs of the zodiac coincided with one another about the year 370, 
B.C. Besides this motion of which we have spoken, there is another 
of much smaller amount, which is known as nutation or the noding 
of the pole. It arises from the circumstances that the earth's dis- 
tance from the sun varies at different times of the year, and thus the 
amount of precession varies slightly from day to day. The effect of 
this variation is to cause the pole to describe, in the course of about 
18i 3'ears, a very small ellipse, the longer axis being about 18i", and 
the shorter nearly 14". This motion, combined with the other, 
produces a vibratory or undulatiug movement of the pole ; it is only^ 
however, in very accurate observations that this has to be taken into 
account. One important effect of the precession of the equinoxes is 
to change the pole-star. That at present known by this name is dis- 
tant about 1-^° from the true pole ; its distance is, however, gradually 
diminishing, so that in the course of years it will be within half a 
degree, and it will then commence to recede from it. In about 
12,000 years it is estimated the brilliant star Vega, in the constella- 
tion Lyrse, will be very close to the pole, and serve as a j)ole-star. 

There are also two other points in the ecliptic especially distin- 
guished, and known as the solstitial points. These are situated mid- 
way between the nodes, and are at the commencement of the signs 
Cancer and Capricornus. The term solstitial is derived from the 
Latin sol, the sun, and stare, to stand, and is applied to these points, 
because when the sun reaches them it has attained its greatest north 
or south declination, and appears to stand for a few days before com- 
mencing to retrace its steps. Two great circles are drawn on the 
celestial globe, passing through the poles, the one passing through 
the equinoctial points, and the other through the solstitial points; 
and these are distinguished as the equinoctial and solstitial colures. 
They divide the ecliptic into four equal portions, and mark the divi- 
sions of the seasons of the year. The days on which the sun is at 
the solstices are the 21st of June, and the 21st of December ; and 
these are respectively the longest and the shortest days. 

Two small circles, parallel to the equator, and passing through 
the solstitial points are called the Tropics, that to the north being 
distinguished as the tropic of Cancer, and that to the south as the 
tropic of Capricorn. These, however, are of more importance in the 
use of the terrestrial globe than in that of the celestial. There are 
also two circles situated at a similar distance from the poles which 
mark the limits of the polar regions, from which the sun is sometimes 
hidden for more than a complete day ; that to the north is called the 
Arctic, and that to the south the Antarctic, Circle. 

The most usual way of describing the position of any star in the 


heavens is by giving its declination and right ascension, as described 
above, the distances being reckoned from the equinoctial. Some- 
times, however, these distances are reckoned from the ecliptic, and 
are then called the latitude and longitude. Parallels of latitude, 
circles parallel to the ecliptic, are frequently drawn on celestial globes 
to enable the latitude to be found without difficulty ; the pole of the 
ecliptic is, of course the centre of these circles. Celestial longitude, 
as right ascension, is reckoned from the point Aries, and like it, is 
reckoned only in one direction from 0° to 360°. Terrestial longi- 
tude, on the other hand, is reckoned from 0° to 180° east or west. 
Celestial longitude, therefore, measured from the point Aries on the 
ecliptic, corresponds to right ascension measured from the same point 
on the equinoctial ; and celestial latitude measured from the ecliptic 
north or south, corresponds to declination measured from the equi- 

The Horizon. 

As we shall have sometimes to speak of the horizon, it will be well 
for us distinctly to state what we understand by it, as sometimes there 
is a little confusion on this matter. 

The rational or true horizon is an imaginary plane drawn through 
the centre of the earth, so that the line, where it cuts the surface, is 
everywhere equidistant from the observer. If we take an orange or 
an apple and divide it into two equal portions, or place a ring round 
it, so as to be midway between the eye and the stalk, it will represent 
the horizon. In an ordinary celestial globe, if the poles be elevated 
to the latitude of the place, the situation of the wooden horizon will 
correspond with that of the rational horizon to the observer. Thus, 
it will be seen that if this plane be extended on all sides to the sky 
it will divide it into two exactly equal hemispheres, one of which 
will be visible to the observer. There is, however, another sense in 
which the word horizon is used. When we ascend any height we 
see a line all around us where the earth and sky appear to touch ; 
this is called the sensible or visible horizon. At sea or on a level 
plain this will appear to be a perfect circle ; on land the elevations of 
the country usually interrupt the outline ; still we can perceive that 
it is of a circular form, and that our point of observation is situated 
in the middle of it. The size of this circle increases with our eleva- 
tion above the earth. Hence, when a sailor wants to know if any 
vessel is in sight, he ascends to the mast-head, where his view is 
much more extensive than it is from the deck of the ship. In the 
same way, if we ascend a high mountain, we gain a very extensive 



view of the surrounding country. If we could' place ourselves at a 
great distance from the earth, as for instance, on the surface of the 
moon, we should see just one half of the globe of the earth, and the 
rational and sensible horizon would then exactly coincide. This, of 
course, cannot be, and the highest elevation ever yet reached by man, 
or that in all probability ever will be attained, is so small, when com- 
pared with the earth's diameter, that only a small portion of our globe 
has ever been visible at once. 

The following general rule will enable us approximately to cal- 
culate the distance of the visible horizon when we know the height 
of the station of observation. Express the height in feet and increase 
it by a half; then extract the square root, and this will give the dis- 
tance in miles. Thus, if a building be 24 feet high, we then add 12 
feet to it, makiag it 36, the square root of which is 6. The visible 
horizon is, therefore, distant six miles. 

Eclipses Explained. 

A dark shadow is occasionally seen to move across the face of the 
moon which obscures her light, and gives her the appearance of tar- 
nished copper. Sometimes this shadow covers only a small portion 
of her disc • at other times it obscures the whole of it for an hour or 

two, and its margin al- 
ways appears in the form 
of the segment of a circle. 
This phenomenon, which 
happens on an average 
about twice every year, 
is tei'med an eclipse of 
the moon. It is produced by the shadow of the earth falling 
upon the moon, when the sun, the earth, and the moon are in 
the same straight line ; the earth being interposed between the 
sun and the moon ; and this can only happen at the time of full 
moon. Sometimes the moon appears to pass across the disc of the 
sun, when her dark side is turned toward the earth, covering his 
disc, either in whole or in part, and intercepting his light from a 
certain portion of the earth. This is called an eclipse of the sun., and 
can happen only at the time of neiu moon, when the moon is inter- 
posed between the sun and the earth. In a total eclipse of the sun, 
which seldom happens, the darkness is so striking that some of the 
planets, and occasionally the larger stars, are seen and the inferior ani- 
mals appear struck Avith terror. 

The theory of lunar eclipses will readily be understood by refer- 
ence to the annexed figures. In figure 99, S represents the sun and 



E tlie earth, whose shadow is a long cone reaching into space. This 
dark shadow is called the umhra, and it gradually shades off into the 
penumbra, which is bounded by the lines B D, A F, and tapers toward 
the earth instead of away from it ; M represents the moon revolving 
round the earth, and on its journey it sometimes passes through the 
dark cone and becomes for a time invisible. The commencement is 
marked by a faint shade, beginning to creep over the east side of the 
moon's disc. This is the first contact with the penumbra. As the 
moon travels onwards it enters the umbra, and the east side of its 
disc then becomes almost invisible. When fully immersed in the um- 
bra, the moon may usually be feebly seen, and appears of a ruddy hue. 
The duration of a total eclipse of the moon may be as great as 1 hour 

IHBBJ^^^^BBhBBJ 50 minutes. This is when the moon passes 
^H^BHH^n^^H directly through the middle of the umbra. 
J|B^^H|^^H0^^| At other times it passes near the edge, 

and is the7i obscured for only a short 
period. When it passes through the cen- 
tre of the shadow the total duration, from 
the first contact to the last, may be 5^ 

Figure 100 shows at one view the phe- 
nomena of both lunar and solar eclipses. 
The solar eclipse represented here is an an- 
nular one, as the shadow of the moon ter- 
minates at m before it reaches the earth. 
A moment's careful inspection of this dia- 
gram will show that an eclipse of the sun 
can only take place at the period of the 
new moon, as the enlightened hemisphere 
is turned away from the earth; and that an 
eclipse of the moon, on the other hand, can 
only occur at full moon. The reason why 
eclipses do not happen at every new and 
full moon is that the moon's orbit is inclin- 
ed to the earth's orbit at an angle of 5 ° 9' ; 
so that during one half of its journey, the 
moon is below the plane of the ecliptic, and 
in the other above it. Now the earth's 
shadow is in the same plane as its orbit, and 
hence at the period of full moon the shadow 
I may be above or below the moon, and in 
either case no eclipse will occur. The 
points in Avhich these planes intersect are 


known as the nodes, and hence there is an eclipse of the moon 
Avhenever a full moon happens at or near one of the nodes. In 
a similar way a solar eclipse occurs when the moon is near one of the 
nodes at the time of new moon. The position of the nodes of the moon's 
orbit is continually changing, at the rate of 19 ° 20' 1-3 minutes in a 
year ; so that they perform a complete revolution in a trifle less than 
ISj'ears and 219 days. After an interval of 346.62 days, they come 
again into the same position in regard to the sun : and this period 
is called a synodical revolution of the node. Now it happens that 19 
of these periods are almost exactl}^ equal to 223 synodical revolutions 
of the moon ; so that after this interval the sun, earth and moon, are 
again almost in the same relative position and the same series of 
eclipses is therefore repeated. This period of 6,585 days, or 18 years 
and 10 days, is called a cycle of the moon. It was known to the an- 
cients and called the Saros, and by means of it eclipses were roughly 
calculated before any great progress had been made in the science of 

Conjunction and Ojjposition. 

When a heavenlj" body is said to be in conjunction it is meant that 
the body is in a line with the sun and the earth, either between the 
earth and the sun, or having the sun interposed between it and the 
earth. "When the body is between the earth and sun it is in its in- 
ferior conjunction ; when on the other side of the sun from the earth 
it is in its superior conjunction. When a body is said to be in opposi- 
tion it is meant that it is in a line with the sun, and the earth, the earth 
being interposed between it and the sun. The planets whose orbits lie 
between the earth's orbit and the sun. Mercury and Venus, have each 
two conjunctions, one inferior, or when either of them happens to be 
in a line between the earth and the sun; the other superior, or when 
they are in that part of their orbit that lies beyond the sun from the 
earth, in a line with the earth and sun ; but these have no opposi- 
tion. The superior planets, or those whose orbits lie without that 
of the earth have each one conjunction, the superior, and one oppo- 
sition. The moon, whose movements are round the earth as a cen- 
tre, and always accompanying the earth in its journe}' round the sun, 
has one conjunction, at new moon, the inferior ; and one opposition, 
at full moon. 

Proofs of the Earth's Annual Motion. 

Now the annual motion of the earth and its position in the solar 
system are proved and illustrated by such considerations as the fol- 
lowing : That if this motion did not exist, the motions of all the 

earth's annual motion. 307 

planets would present a scene of inextricable confusion, consisting 
of direct and retrograde movements, and looped curves so anomalous 
and irregular as to be altogether inconsistent with anything like 
harmony, order, or intelligence : That Mercury and Venus have two 
conjunctions with the sun, but no opposition, which could not hap- 
pen did not the orbits of these planets lie within that of the earth : 
That Mars, Jupiter, and all the other superior planets, have each 
their conjunctions with, and oppositions to the sun, which could not 
take place unless their orbits were exterior to that of the earth : 
That the greatest elongation (apparent distance) of Mercury from 
the Sun is only about 29*^, and that of Venus 48° ; but if the earth 
were the centre of their motions, as the Ptolemaic system, and some 
other systems suppose, they might sometimes be seen 180° from the 
sun, or in opposition to him, which never happens : That some of 
the planets appear much larger and brighter at some times than at 
others on account of their different distances from the earth ; but on 
the other hypothesis, their brilliancy and apparent size would be 
always about the same : That Mercury and Venus in their superior 
conjunctions with the sun, are sometimes hid behind his body, and 
in their inferior conjunctions sometimes appear to pass across the 
disc of the sun like round black spots, which would be impossible 
according to the Ptolemaic system : And in short, that the times in 
which the conjunctions and oppositions, stations (or when the plan- 
ets are in that part of their orbit in relation to the earth and sun in 
which they appear to be stationary), and retrogrations (or when the 
planets are iu that part of their orbits in relation to the sun and 
earth, in which they appear to go backward), happen are not such as 
they would be if the earth were at rest in the centre of their motions, 
but precisely such as would happen if the earth move along with all 
the other planets in the stations and periods assigned them in a system 
Avhich has the sun for its centre. For as the sun is intended to cheer 
and irradiate surrounding worlds, it is most fit that those agencies 
and influences should proceed from the centre of the system from 
which they are communicated in an uniform and equable mode to 
the planets in every part of their orbits. Were the earth the centre 
of the system and the sun and planets revolving around it, the plan- 
ets, when nearest the sun, would be scorched with excessive heat ; 
and when farthest distant would Ije frozen with excessive cold. 

Tliere is another potent consideration by whicli the earth's revo- 
lutio7i, and its position in the system, are demonstrated, and that is 
that the inferior planets Mercury and Venus, when viewed through 
moderately good telescopes, are found to assume different phases in 
different parts of their orbits. Sometimes they appear as a crescent, 


sometimes with a gibbous phase, sometimes like a half moon, or 
having a full enlightened hemisijhere, which could not happen if they 
revolved around the earth as their centre of motion, and if the earth 
were not situated in an orbit exterior to theirs. This can be illus- 
trated with peculiar effect by means of an equatorial telescope and a 
planetarium. Having placed the Earth and Venus in their true po- 
sitions on the planetarium by means of an ephemeris (a little book 
showing the positions, etc., of the planets for every day in the year), 
or the Nautical Almanac, the observer should place his eye in a line 
with the balls representing these planets, and mark the phases of 
Venus as seen from the earth, whether a crescent, a half moon, or a 
gibbous phase. He should tlien adjust the equatorial telescope for 
Venus, if she be within the range of view, and he will see the planet 
with the same phase in the heavens. This exhibition never fails to 
gratify and convince the observer. But it can seldom be done if we 
must wait until the planet be visible to the naked eye and capable 
of being viewed with a common telescope ; for it is sometimes invis- 
ible to the naked eye for nearly one-half of its course from one con- 
junction to another. Besides, the phases of this planet are more 
distinctly marked in the day time, when it is near the meridian, than 
either in the morning or evening, when at a low elevation, in which 
case it appears glaring and undefined on account of the brillianc}^ of 
its light, and the undulating vapors near the horizon through which 
it must then be viewed. With an equatorial telescope of a jjower 
of 60 or 80 times, most of the stars of the first magnitude and some 
of those of the second, can be seen even at noonday. Venus may 
be seen with this instrument in the day time during the space of 19 
months, with the interruption of only about 13 days at the time of 
her superior conjunction, and 8 days at the time of her inferior ; so 
that the phase she exhibits may be seen almost ever}^ clear day. 

Admitting then that the earth is of globular form, as doubtless 
all our readers are now prepared to do, it necessarily follows that it 
may be inhabited on every side, and consequently that those who 
live on opposite sides of the globe must have the soles of their feet 
pointing towards each other, and their heads pointing in opposite 
directions ; and that if by any motive power acting from the earth's 
interior, they should be carried forward in the directions to which 
th'cir heads point, and the power to be continued in operation they 
would never meet during all eternity. This would result from the 
gradual and equal expansion of the earth on all sides by the opera- 
tion of some expanding force in the interior, of which supposed cir- 
cumstances we have spoken before. It also follows that could we 
suppose a hole bored through the earth's centre, commencing at the 



point where we now stand, and extending to the opposite side, it 
would terminate at our antipodes, and would measure nearly eight 
thousand miles. It likewise is most evident that this terraqueous 
globe is either at rest in empty space or is moving round its axis 
every day, and with immense velocity round the sun every year. 
If we suppose the earth in a quiescent state in empty space, we have 
presented to our view a globe containing two hundred and sixty- 
four millions of cubical miles resting upon nothii:ig, and surrounded 
with the immense bodies of the universe with no visible support to 
prevent it from sinking into the depth of infinity. If we suppose it 
to be revolving round its axis and at the same time round the sun, a 
globe of the huge dimensions now stated, moving Avith a velocity of 
over a thousand miles an hour round its circumference, and of at 
least sixty-eight thousand miles an hour in its course round the sun, 
without ever intermitting its speed a single moment, we have pre- 
sented to us a view sublime and astonishing indeed, but not anything 
more so than what we see in the case of other heavenly bodies of a 
thousand times larger dimensions, and a view a great deal more rea- 
sonable than that of supposing it at rest in space with all the huge 
bodies of the universe revolving round it as their centre. It is plain, 
however, that whichever of these suppositions we hold to be the true 
one, an astonishing and sublime idea is conveyed to our mind. 

Plienomena arising from, the EartKs motion. 

First : if the earth revolve round the sun once every year, it is 
evident that the sun will appear to make a revolution round the 

heavens in the same time. In ^-^ 

the figure let' S represent the sun 

in the centre, and A B C D, the 

earth, in four positions ; and let 

us suppose the earth to move in 

the order of the letters A B C D ; ^^ 

it is evident that when the earth H=SDifA 

is at A, the sun will appear in ^^ ' 

that part of the heavens in which 

the stars at G are situated. 

When the earth has moved to 

B, the sun will appear to have 

moved to the stars opposite to 

H. And, in like manner, when 

the earth has moved to C, the sun Avill appear opposite to E. And 

when it has moved to D, the sun will appear at F. And when the 


earth has moved to A, the sun will again appear at G. And, as 
the earth revolves round the sun in the orbit A B C D, so the sun 
will appear to a spectator on the earth, to describe the circle in the 
heavens, E F G H. Hence it is that we see the sun gradually pro- 
ceeding in his course round the concave of the sky from west to east, 
at the rate of nearly one degree every day, through the twelve signs 
or constellations of the zodiac. And at the end of a year he returns 
to the same point from which he set out. Hence, also, it follows, that, 
if the plane of the earth's orbit be conceived to be extended to the 
heavens, it will cut the stariy firmament in that very circle in which 
a spectator in the sun would see the earth revolve every year, while 
an inhabitant of the earth observes the sun to go through the same 
circle in the same space of time. This circle, then, is called the 
ecliptic, the apparent path of the sun, the real path of the earth 
through the heavens. And, although the path of the sun, and the 
particular stars he is passing along, cannot be seen in the day-time, 
yet, by observing the stars which are directly opposite to him at 
night, we can tell at anj time what particular stars the sun is pass- 
ing along at every point of his course. 

The inhabitants of all the other planets will perceive different 
motions in the sun as we observe, but performed in different periods 
of time, according to the times of their annual revolutions. An in- 
habitant of the planet Mars, for example, Avould see the sun appar- 
ently revolving round him in the heavens in the space of about one 
year and ten nionths. The circle which the sun would appear to him 
to describe would not be very different from that of the earth, as the 
inclination of his axis to the plane of his orbit is not very different 
from that of the earth to the plane of the ecliptic. An inhabitan' 
of the planet Jupiter would see the sun apparently revolving around 
him describing a circle in the heavens in the space of twelve years. 
This circle would not be exactly the same as our ecliptic, because the 
orbit of this planet is somewhat inclined to that of the earth; but it 
would pass very near it. In the space of one of our years the sun 
from Jupiter would appear to pass through onl}^ a twelfth part of the 
circumference of the heavens. The sun from Saturn will appear to 
move in another circle in twenty-nine and a half years ; from Uranus, 
in another circle, in about eighty-four years, from Neptune in one 
hundred and sixty four and three fourth years ; and a spectator in 
Venus Avill see the sun moving in a circle different from all these 
with greater apparent rapidity, in the space of seven and a-half months. 
All these apparent motions of the sun arise from the real motions of 
the respective planets. Secondly ; the annual motion of the earth 
shows whj^ we behold one set of stars in our firmament at one season 


of the year, and another set of stars at a diflferent season. For example, 
the stars and constellations which, in our northern latitudes, are 
seen in the south during the winter months, are altogether 
different from those which are seen in summer ; and those stars 
which surround the pole in the north, and which never set, if 
they are below the pole in winter, they will be seen as far above 
the pole in summer. At the equator, where all the stars north 
and south rise and set, the stars which are seen in the middle of 
winter are all completely different from those that are seen at the 
same hoiir in the middle of summer. This is easily explainable by 
the preceding diagram, in which the earth, in four situations in its 
orbit, appears half enlightened and half in the dark, representing 
day and night. When it is at A, the sun will appear at noon at G, 
and obscure all the stars in the hemisphere F G H ; when, as at mid- 
night, the point of the heavens E will be in the meridian, and all the 
stars in the other hemisphere, F E H, will be visible. Three months 
afterwards wlien the earth comes to the situation B, the sun at noon 
will be seen at H, and all the heavens, G H E, will be day, illuminat- 
ed by the sun ; and over all the other half, E F G, the stars will shine 
at night ; consequently, the stars in the quarter F G will now be 
visible, which, in the former position, were obscured by the sun ; and 
those in the quarter H E, formerly visible will become obscured by 
daylight. In like manner when the earth is at C, the heavens H E F 
will be day, and F G H night, when all the stars which were obscured 
when the earth was at A, will not be visible. And, lastly, when the 
earth is at D, the stars and constellations in the hemisphere E F G will 
be obscured by the light of the sun, and those on G H E will be visible 
during the night. Hence all who are accustomed to observe the 
heavens will have seen that the bright constellation Orion, the bril- 
liant star Sirius, which follows it, and the Pleiades, or Seven Stars, 
which are visible in the southern sk} during the winter and the ap- 
proach of spring, are never seen during the summer months, because 
the sun is then illuminating that portion of the firmament Avherethey 
are situated ; but, being above the horizon in the day-time, they may 
be seen by means of equatorial telescopes. 

By observation of the starry heavens we find that the stars never 
alter their positions in relation to each other. The}^ appear to move 
around us in one compact body as the figures of the constellations do 
on a celestial globe, when that instrument is turned round its axis ; 
but the stars of one constellation never approach or move aAvay from 
those of another. If, for example, we direct our attention to tlie 
stars of the Great Bear in the northern sk}^ Ave shall find that at all 
hours of the day and night, and at every season of the year they pre- 


seat the same definite figure, and maintain the same relative positions 
to each other, without any sensible variation of distance or magnitude ; 
and the same may be observed from one year to another. Hence, as 
before mentioned, they are usually denominated the " Fixed Stars." 
But when we examine the heavens with more care and minuteness 
we occasionally perceive a few bodies, having the appearance of stars 
which when carefully watched for a few weeks or months, are found 
shifting their positions with relation to the surrounding stars. In 
most cases their movements are toward the East, but not unfrequently 
toward the West ; and at certain times no motion can be observed 
for a considerable number of days. The bodies which are thus per- 
ceived to change their positions among the stars are called planets, 
which word, as before mentioned, means " Wandering stars." Until 
very recently there were only ten bodies of this description known 
to astronomers, and the paths of these had been traced in the heavens 
and their motions accurately ascertained. Nearly one hundred of 
these bodies, all of them of small dimensions, have lately been dis- 
covered in the space intervening between Mars and Jupiter. Five of 
the planets are visible to the naked eye, and these were known to 
the ancients, who gave them the following names, derived from the 
heathen mythology : Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn ; 
and if we count the Earth in it makes six. By long and careful in- 
vestigations of the phenomena and motions of these planets, astron- 
omers have ascertained that they all move round the sun, as the centre 
of their motions ; and along with the earth, the minor planets and 
the moons form one grand and harmonious system with which we are 
intimately connected, and which is called the solar system. 

The following is a list of the principle bodies of this group, in 
their order in space ; First the Sun, the common centre around which 
the planets all revolve ; Vulcan, a planet very recently said to be 
discovered, but whose existence is as yet by some considered doubt- 
ful, Mercur}^ and Venus ; which all are distinguished as the inferior 
planets, their orbits being included within that of the earth ; the 
Earth, and the superior planets ; i\Iars, the minor planets or asteroids, 
Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. There are also many second- 
ary planets or moons, as well as comets, which are reckoned as 
belonging to this system : besides there may be many other planetary 
bodies in it ; doubtless there are many, that yet remain undis- 

As we enquire more particularly into the movements of these 
bodies Ave discover many striking points of similarity. They all move 
round the sun in the same direction, and in elliptical paths of no 
great eccentricity. They are all opaque bodies, like the earth, shin- 

THE SUN. 313 

ing only by reflected light ; and all rotate on their axes, so as to pro- 
duce the alternation of day and night. Their orbits, too, are all in- 
clined to the plane of the ecliptic or earth's orbit. The following is 
a method by which we may obtain a tolerably correct idea of their 
comparative magnitudes and distances, and the relative dimensions 
of their orbits. Select a large, clear space, and place nearly in the 
centre, a ball of about two feet in diameter to I'epresent the sun ; 
Vulcan will then, supposing such a body to be really existing, be rep- 
resented by a small pin's head 27 feet from the globe ; Mercury by 
■a mustard seed 82 feet distant ; Venus by a pea at a distance of 142 
feet; the earth by a pea of about the same size, or slightly lai'ger, at 
■a distance of 215 feet ; Mars by a large pin's head at a distance of 
327 feet : the minor planets or Asteroids by very small grains of sand 
between 500 and 600 feet distant ; an orange of about 2i inches 
diameter, and 1120 feet distant, will represent Jupiter ; one about 2 
inches in diameter and distant two-fifths of a mile will stand for 
Saturn ; a full-sized cherr}^ three quarters of a mile distant, Uranus ; 
and a plum, a mile and a quarter off, for Neptune. On this scale 
the distance of the nearest fixed star is reckoned at 7,500 miles. 

The Sun. 

As the sun is by far the largest of these bodies we shall treat 
of him first ; and the question which at once suggests itself is, what 
is the distance of this body ? The accurate solution of this question 
is found to be one of the most important problems in astronomy, as 
this distance is taken as the measure for determining the distances 
and magnitudes of the other heavenly bodies. Thei'e has always 
been great difficulty experienced in determining the distance of the 
sun, owing to the fact that the earth's diameter, being so small com- 
pared with the sun's distance, did not afford a base line of sufficient 
length for a triangle by which the sun's parallax, and thence his dis- 
tance, might be obtained. There has however, been obtained what 
is considered as a near approximation to it, by means of obser- 
vations taken of tlie transits of Venus. A< a result of these 
observations tlie sun's mean distance is determined to be about 
91,430,000 miles. Until recently the sun's distance has been taken 
at 95,000,000 miles ; but subsequent investigations have shown an 
error in these measurements. The numbers here given, however, 
are only given as approximations subject to future correction. 
The next transit of Venus, is anxiously awaited to settle the 
question decisively. It may be remembered, too, that the distance 
given above is the mean, the difference between the minimum and 


maximum being about 3,000,000 miles. Having ascertained the dis- 
tance of the sun, and knowing its apparent diameter to be about 32', 
a little over half a degree, we obtain his real magnitude by a simple 
proportion ; and in this way we find his diameter to be, in miles, 
about 853,000, or more than one hundred and eight times that of the 
earth. The sun's volume is so great that it would require over 1,300,- 
000 globes of the size of the earth to be rolled into one to equal it ; 
and it is computed to be 450 times as large as all the known planets 
which revolve around it taken together. Its surface contains more 
than 12,000 times the number of square miles on our globe. The 
reason Avhy the sun appears so small to our eyes, although being a 
globe of such immense magnitude, is owing to its great distance 
from our world. This distance may be illustrated somewhat as fol- 
lows : It would require a cannon ball, though flying continually vs^ith 
a velocity of 500 miles an hour, 21 years before it could reach the 
sun. Suppose a steam carriage to set out from the earth in the di- 
rection of the sun, and to move without intermission at the rate of 
twenty miles an hour, it would require over 520 years before it had 
traversed the Avhole space which intervenes between us and that 
luminary. How wonderful then that the sun at such a distance 
should exert his attractive power upon the earth, raise the tides in 
the oceans, and diffuse light, heat, color, and animation over all its 
region? I Some idea can be formed of its light and heat when Ave 
remember the enormous distance at which we are from its surface, 
and the degree, notwithstanding this, to which we feel its power and 
influence. Its light is computed to be equal to that of 5,500 standard 
candles placed at a distance of a foot from the given surface to be 
illuminated. We naturally want to know something more about 
the ph3^sical properties of this wonderful and stupendous orb ; but 
we are to a great extent baffled in this enquiry, just as we are in re- 
gard to the exact physical properties of the bodies which make up 
the earth's interior ; though many great and imjjortant discoveries 
have been recently made by means of spectrum analysis. In this 
way it has been ascertained that many of the metals present in the 
earth are also present in the sun. 

When pieces of very dark glass are placed in front of the eye-piece 
of a telescope, so as to screen the ej'^e from the intense glare of the 
sun, its surface may be carefully examined, and it is found to present 
an appearance by no means uniform. Many dark spots termed 
maculae are found at times to exist on its surface. See figures 102 and 
103. The centre of these is usually of a very dark color, and is sur- 
rounded by a margin much lighter in appearance which is known as 
the penumbra. These spots are very irregular in shape, and frequently 


THE sujsr. 


change in size or disappear altogether. This may in the main be ac- 
counted for by the rotation of the sun on his axis, by which different 
portions of his surface are presented to the earth in succession. The 
spots appear first on his eastern margin, at which time they appear 
narrow and somewhat obscure ; they move gradually onward to the 

Fig. 102. 

'S> a ^ 


Fig. 103. 


centre of the disc, when they appear larger and more distinct : after- 
wards they proceed toward the western margin, where they again 
appear narrow and obscure ; and after a period of about 13 days from 
their first appearance on the eastern edge, they disappear from the 
western limb ; and, in many cases, they again appear on the eastern 
limb, after the same period of 13 days. But they are frequently 
somewhat changed in their aspect before they reappear; and in num- 
erous instances, after disappearing from the sun's western boundary, 
they are never again visible in the same shape ; but other spots at 
uncertain intervals, are seen diversifying the solar disc ; though not 
unfrequently scarcely a single spot is to be seen on the whole sur- 
face of the sun. The spots appearing narrower and less distinct on 
the eastern and western limbs, is owing to our viewing obliquely 
those parts of the sun's surface. The conclusions which may be de- 
duced from these circumstances are : 1st. That the sun is a globe 
and not a flat surface, as it appears to the naked eye ; otherwise the 
spots would appear equally large and distinct on every part of its 
surface : 2nd. That this luminar}^ moves round his axis in the same 
direction as the rotation of the planets ; for its spots do not alter 
their places on its disc, but are carried along with the whole body 
of the sun. The time of the apparent revolution of these spots is 27 
days, 8 hours ; but the real period of the sun's rotation on its axis is 
25 days, 7 hours, and 48 minutes ; and therefore, the spaces about 
the sun's equator move at the rate of 4,407 miles an hour. * 

The solar spots are of different sizes, and of different shapes. 
Their dimensions vary from the ^xio'^h to the 3^o"th of the sun's diameter. 
The smallest of these spots which can be distinctly seen are nearly 
1000 miles in diameter. Spots the g^oth part of the sun's diameter, 
which are frequently seen, are 17,600 miles in diameter, or more than 
double the diameter of the earth ; and if the spot be considered only 
as a plane, and somewhat circular, it will contain a considerably 
greater area than the whole terraqueous globe, and sometimes a spot 
of this vast size disappears in a few weeks not unfrequently in a 
few days. Sometimes no spot is to be seen on the solar disc for weeks 
and even for months together ; at other times, over a hundred spots 
of different sizes are dispersed over its surface at one time. In such 
cases, there are generally five or six large spots such as that alluded 
to above, accompanied with ten, fifteen, or twenty smaller spots ; but 
after disappearing at the sun's western limb, it is seldom they come 
round again in the same order as before. Some appear to have been 

* This is obtained by dividing the sun's circumference 2,679,785 miles by the number of 
hours in which the rotation is performed, namely 608; and the quotient is the rate of motion 
per hour. 


altogether dissipated, and others to have changed their shape and rel- 
ative positions to surrounding spots in which they formerly appeared. 
Some of these spots of considerably larger dimensions than the earth, 
containing three or four hundred millions of square miles, occasion- 
ally appear and vanish in the space of 48 hours. The parts of the 
sun's surface where these spots most frequently appear, are those 
which lie adjacent to its equatorial regions ; no spots being ever seen 
near its northern or southern poles. In some years these spots 
appear in great numbers, and seldom a week passes without a few of 
them being seen while in other years comparatively few are visible. 
Careful records have been kept of their appearance. 

They are found to diminish in frequency for about five or five and 
a half years, when the number is at a minimum, the surface being then 
free from them on more than half of the days of observation. They 
then increase again in number for the next five and a half years; 
and thus their period appears to be about eleven years. A remark- 
able fact has been noted in connection with this, and that is that the 
daily variation of the magnetic needle is found to have a precisely 
similar period, and to increase or diminish with the increase or dimi- 
nution of the number of spots. Other phenomena seem further to 
show that there is an intimate relationship existing between the 
movements of the magnetic needle and the sun. Further observa- 
tions will doubtless reveal to us more of this natural bond, and new 
, discoveries on the subject are frequently being made. 

Besides the dark spots, which we have now described, there are 
spots which display a bright and mottled appearance, and which it 
is difficult in most cases to distinguish from the real body of the sun. 
These are termed faculoe. They are chiefly to be seen when they first 
appear on the eastern margin of the sun, and when they approach 
near the western limb ; but they are rarely seen near the middle of 
the disc. They are most generally seen in connection with clusters 
of dark spots, and when they are first seen near the eastern limb they 
frequently indicate that dark spots are about to appear. They appear 
like luminous mountain ranges, plainly indicating that the sun is 
not a smooth surface, but is diversified with elevations and depres- 
sions, or in other words, with mountains and vales of stupendous 
dimensions ; otherwise we could by no means perceive them at the 
immense distance at which they are placed from us. 

Recent telescopic investigations, however, show that, beside the 
markings of which we have spoken, the whole surface of the sun has 
somewhat a mottled appearance. According to Nasmyth it presents 
an appearance as if it were covered over with scattered filaments, 
shaped like willow leaves. The whole question of the physical con- 



stitution of the sun is now engaging the attention of many astronom- 
ers. A total eclipse of that body presents a good opportunity for 
the observation of many points, and among the most remarkable 
features in connection with these phenomena is the presence of dark 
flames or protuberances surrounding the dark body of the moon at 
the moment of total obscuration. These have recently been seen at 
other times also, and are believed by some to be connected with the 
solar atmosphere. They probably arise from certain portions of the 
sun being for the present more combustible, and in a state of more 
intense incandescence than others. 

The question will naturally suggest itself — if the sun is continu- 
ally in a state of combustion, will it not at some time be consumed? 
A knowledge of chemistry will go far toward answering such a ques- 
tion as this. Bodies while undergoing combustion are also under- 
going chemical decomposition, or a separation of their component 
parts into their primary elements, but not a single particle of them is 

Fig. 104. ECLIPSE OF THE SUK, JULY .18, 1860. 

lost by the process. Light is only a manifestation which attends 
combustion, and is equally attendant upon the combination as upon 
the separation of chemical elements ; the matter of the body under- 
going combustion, unless what residuum there may be from it, is 
resolved into gaseous elements wliich ascend to the level of their 
gravitation in their atmosphere, and there float, until, perhaps, re- 
combining with other chemical elements for which they have an 
affinity, they thus return to the surface of their sphere again, it may 
be — as in the case of the earth's atmosphere they do — in the form of a 
meteor, but in some way or other they eventually return to the surface 


of their spheres, not a particle of them being lost by the manifestation 
of light. By this it is understood that the elements of the sun in 
connection with which light is manifested, may go on separating and 
recombining under the influence of combustion* without any actual 
waste or exhaustion of matter, as long as the want of equilibrium 
between his elements makes combustion to be a consequence of their 
contact. The constitution of the sun appears to be of such a nature, 
and such is the yjurpose which it answers in the system, that it may 
have ever existed and may ever exist luminous. Albeit, what hin- 
ders that during certain periods of the past our system may not have 
been enlightened by some other luminous body ? 

According to Sir Wm. Herschell's estimate the atmosphere of the 
sun is not less than 1840 and not more than 2760 miles in depth. 
This he regards as the outermost coating of the sun, or his visible 
surface ; and under this superior stratum he conceived there is another, 
more dense and highly reflective, which throws back the light of the 
upper regions, and that this lower atmosphere constitutes the umbra 
of the spots, and that the dark central parts of the spots or the nu- 
clei, are part of the solid matter of which the sun's body is composed. 
According to such views the globe of the sun may be regarded as of 
considerable density, not altogether unlike the earth and the other 
planets, and not a very great portion of its surface, compai-atively 
speaking, as being in a state of combustion ; and there is no improb- 
ability in supposing it to be inhabited Avith sensitive and intelligent 
beings having constitutions adapted for their situation ; and it may 
constitute the most glorious habitation connected with the solar 
system. It is evident, however, whatever may be the real nature and 
constitution of this luminary, from the rapid and extensive changes 
which are seen to take place in connection with the spots on his sur- 
face that there are forces of prodigious power in continual operation 
there, producing the most astonishing effects in short spaces of time. 
And such changes are doubtless necessary for preserving the present 
state of the sun, for enabling him to diffuse light and heat, and to 
act as the soul of surrounding worlds. This magnificent luminary 
is the great source of light and heat and color to our Avorld ; and to 
all the planetary globes, with their satellites and rings, which belong 
to our system. By its influence it cheers, animates, and adorns a 
retinue of worlds; by its attractive energy it directs their motions, 
and confines them all to their proper paths, so that none can wander 

* There are, however, some who douot consider the sun's light to arise from combustion. 
Anioii"; these were Sir Wm. Herschell and Humboldt who supposed the sun's outer atmos- 
phere to be in a state of permanent luminosity, by means of electric or magnetic agency, 
that is to say, the sun's light would be somewhat after the nature of a continnal " Northern 


from their course or interfere with the others. Without the influence 
of this luminary darkness and all its gloomy accompaniments would 
involve our world ; the beauties which adorn the face of nature 
would nowhere be seen ; the warbling of the birds would not be 

Fig. 105- 

heard; the flowers would not be decked in their gay colors, nor shed 
their rich perfumes ; our earth would be a hideous chaos. Can we 
reflect therefore upon the grandeur and magnitude of this luminary, 
and the manifold beneficial eff"ects which it produces in our world, 
without raising our thoughts to Him who ap)points it for this purpose I 
In all our surveys and contemplations of nature it becomes us to 
raise our thoughts from the effect to the cause, from the creature to 
the Creator, — for God is the Creator of the solar light, as of all other 
creatures, — and to give Him the glory due to His name. 
The Planet Vulcan. 
We now pass on to notice the planets which revolve in ceaseless 
courses round the sun. About fourteen years ago Le Verrier, a French 
astronomer, having veiy carefully examined the movements of the 
planet Mercury, found in it a slight variation which he could account 
for only by supposing that the mass of the planet Venus was incor- 
rectly ascertained, or else that there was a planet revolving round the 
sun in an orbit within that of Mercury. He published some state- 
ments to this effect in the hope that some further light might be 
thrown on the matter. It must be remembered, however, that Mer- 
cury itself, which until now was coijsidered the nearest planet to the 
sun, can only be seen at occasional intervals, and then with difficulty, 
on account of its apparent proximity' to the sun; and that, therefore, a 
planet much nearer to the sun would never appear far enough removed 
from that body to be clearly discerned. Almost the only opportunity 
of observing it then would be when it should be in transit. As sooji 
as Le Verrier had published his statement a French physician, named 
Lescarbault, announced that on the 26th of March, 1859, he had seen 
a small body pass across the sun, but had not liked to announce the 
fact before, no other observer having called attention to it. Le 



Verrier at once saw him and carefully enquired into the matter. At 
first he thought the whole affair was a delusion ; but after question- 
ing the physician, and enquiring as to the apparatus he had used, he 
became convinced that he had indeed discovered a new planet, which 
was then called Vulcan. From this one observation no very decisive 
details could be drawn so as to calculate its orbit accurately ; its 
distance from the sun was, however, set down at about 14,000,000 
miles, and its time of revolution in its orbit at a period of a little 
under twenty days. It was conjectured that a second transit 
might be observed in March, 1860 ; but though a careful Avatch 
was kept it was not seen; nor has it, that we have learned, been 
seen again up to the present time, excepting that was it which was 
observed by Mr. Lumniis of Manchester, England, on March 20th, 1862, 
when he saw a black spot pass across the sun's disc, and conjectured 
it might be a planet in transit. Instances have also been previously 
recorded of spots resembling planets being seen on the sun ; and 
future observations will perhaps show, that the planet really exists, 
as well as some others, in that luminous space, and that these have 
been transits. Astronomers, however, do not pronounce definitely 
either way as to the alleged planet, and are only awaiting the results 
of future investigations concerning it. 

.NEPTUNE The Planet Mercuey. 

This planet has been 
known from the earliest ages 
of astronomy of which we 
have any records. This 
speaks well for the research 
of the early astronomers ; 
for, owing to its small size, 
and its proximity to the sun, 
it is very difficult to obtain 
a satisfactory view of this 
planet. It is said that the 
celebrated Copernicus, al- 
though the greatest part of 
his life was devoted to the 
study of the heavens, never 
once succeeded in obtaining a 
view of this orb. The great- 
est distance at which it can 
ever be from the sun is 29°, 
.^. .„.,,. .. , and sometimes its elongation, 

Diagram illustrating the relative positions, etc., of , . , . 

the sun, planets, and planetoids. before it begins tO return, IS, 



Bot more than 16J°. The mean distance of Mercury from the sun is 
nearly 35,390,000 miles. Its eccentricity, that is, the distance from 
the centre of its orbit to the centre of the sun, being very great 
(about seven millions of miles), its distance varies between 28,000,- 
000 and 43,000,000 miles. It performs its journey round the sun in 
a trifle over 87 days, so that its year is less than a fourth the length 
of ours. Its speed in its orbit is far greater than that of any of the 
other known planets ; being computed to be at an average 109,800 
miles an hour, or 1,830 miles a minute ; hence in the ancient my- 
thology Mercury was represented with wings to his feet : and his 
mane is said to signify "the swift messenger." This planet is 
but small, its diameter being reckoned at 2,960 miles, or rather more 
than one-third that of the earth. Hence its circumference, or a line 
extending quite round it, would measure about 9,299 miles ; and the 
number of square miles on its surface would be nearly 27,525,040. 
Its period of rotation round its axis is 24 hours 64 minutes, and thus 
it clearly resembles the earth as to the length of its day. A transit 
of this planet occurs whenever it is in one of the nodes (that is, at 
the point where its orbit intersects that of the earth), at the time 
of an inferior conjunction. The next time this will occur will be on 
the 6th of May, 1878. If the orbit of this planet were in the same 
plane with that of the earth it would transit the sun's disc at every 
inferior conjunction, or three or four times every year. But as its 
orbit is inclined to the ecliptic a transit can happen only when it 
comes to the inferior conjunction at the time when it is at or near its 
nodes, and when the earth is in the same longitude ; and this occurs 
only at intervals of several years. This planet exhibits phases cor- 
responding to those of the moon. On account of its proximity to the 
sun few discoveries have been made on its surface by the telescope. 
It has been observed, however, that when it appears as a crescent 
one of its horns is truncated, or cut off at the point, by which tlie 
period of the planet's rotation round its axis has been deteimined. 
This truncature is doubtless the effect of elevations and depressions 
on its surface ; and hence some astronomers have concluded that 
mountains of considerable height exist on Mercury, one of which is 
estimated to be 8 miles in perpendicular altitude. The quantity of 
light received on Mercury is nearly seven times that which we re- 
ceive ; and the sun will appear from Mercury seven times the size he 
•does to us. This planet is supposed also to be enveloped with an 
extremely dense atmosphere. 

Though diminutive in its appearance, and seldom seen by the in- 
habitants of the earth, we can scarcely doubt that there exist on 
Mercury millions of sentient and intelligent creatures, perhaps 


superior in scale of being to man, with constitutions fitted for that 
sphere in which they are, and with mental powers which qualify 
them to know, to love, and to adore their great Creator. 

Appearance of the Heavens as Viewed from Mercury. 

The situation of this planet being so near the sun has prevented 
us from discovering various particulars which have been discovered 
in relation to several of the other planets ; and therefore not much 
can be said with respect to the scenery of its firmament. The starry 
heavens will appear to move around it every 24 hours, as they do to 
us ; but as the direction of its axis of rotation is not known we can- 
not tell what stars will appear near its equator or its poles. The sun 
will present a surface in the heavens seven times as large as he does 
to us, and of course will present a very grand and splendid appear- 
ance in the sky, and will produce a corresponding brightness and 
vividness of color on the objects which are distributed over the sur- 
face of the planet. Both Venus and the Earth will appear as 
superior planets ; and when Venus is near its opposition to the sun, 
at which time it will rise when the sun sets, it will present a very 
brilliant appearance to the inhabitants of Mercury, and serve the 
purpose of a small moon to illuminate the evenings in the absence 
of the sun. As Venus presents a full enlightened hemisphere at this 
time to the inhabitants of Mercury, it will exhibit a surface six or 
seven times larger than it does to us when it shines with its greatest 
brilliancy, and, therefore, will appear a very bright and conspicuous 
object in the firmament of this planet. At all other times it will ap- 
pear at least two or three times larger than it ever does to us. It 
will generally appear round ; but at certain times it will exhibit a 
gibbous phase, as the planet Mars frequently does as seen from the 
eartla. It will never appear to the inhabitants of Mercury in the form 
of a crescent or half moon, as it sometimes does through our teles- 
copes. There is no celestial body within the range of this planet, of 
which we have any definite knowledge, which will exhibit either a 
a half moon or a crescent phase, unless it be the supposed planet 
Vulcan, and unless the planet itself be accompanied with a satellite. 
The earth is another object in the sky of Mercury which appears next 
in splendor to Venus. The earth and Venus are nearly of an equal 
size ; but the earth being nearly double the distance of Venus from 
Mercury its ajiparent size at the time of its opposition to the sun is 
only about half that of Venus. The earth, however, at this period 
will appear in the firmament of Mercury of a size and splendor three 
or four times greater than Venus does to us at the time of its great- 


est brilliancy. Our moon may also be seen, like a small star, ac- 
companying the earth, sometimes approaching to or sometimes reced- 
ing farther from the earth, and sometimes hidden from the view by pass- 
ing across the disc of the earth, or through its shadow. It will prob- 
ably appear about of the size and brightness of Mars, as seen from 
the earth. The earth, with its satellite, and Venus will be seen 
near the same point of the heavens at the end of every nineteen 
months, when they will appear for some time the most conspicuous 
objects in the sky, and diffuse a considerable portion of light in the 
absence of the sun. At other periods the one rises in the eastern 
horizon as the other sets in the western ; so that the inhabitants of 
Mercury are seldom without a conspicuous object in their nocturnal 
firmament, diffusing an illumination far superior to that of any other 
stars or planets. The earth is in opposition to the sun every four 
months, and Venus after a period of five months. The planets Mars, 
Jupiter, and Saturn will appear with a somewhat inferior degree of 
magnitude and brilliancy than they do to us, particularly in the case 
of Mars. The period of the annual revolution of Mercury being 88 
days, the sun will appear to move from west to east through the 
circle of the heavens at a rate more than four times as great as his 
apparent motion through the signs of our zodiac. 

The Planet Venus. 

This planet is the next in order from the sun. It has been known 
from remote antiquity as the morning and the evening star, because 
in one part of its course it makes its appearance in the West in the 
evening before any other star is visible, and in another part of its 
course it appears in the East in the morning, ushering in the dawn, 
and giving notice of the approach of the rising sun. So brightly in- 
deed does it shine that it is visible at times to the naked eye during 
the day, and casts a shadow at night. But its apparent size and 
brilliancy vary very greatly, as will be easily understood if we re- 
member that when in its inferior conjunction it is within twenty-five 
millions of miles of the earth ; while when it is in superior conjunc- 
tion this distance is increased by the diameter of the orbit of Venus, 
and becomes nearly one hundred and sixty millions of miles. The 
quantity of light which this planet receives from the sun is nearly 
double that which falls upon the earth, owing to its greater neai-ness 
to the source of light ; so that the sun will appear from its surface 
twice as large as it does to us. When in the part of its orbit direct- 
ly between the earth and sun, that is, in inferior conjunction, it is at 
its least distance from us, and hence would appear most brilliant if 

VENUS. 325 

it were luminous. If indeed at this point its enlightened side were 
turned toward the earth it would present a surface twenty-five times 
larger than it generally does, and shine with the splendor of a small 

moon ; but as its dark side is now turned toward the earth it is in- 
visible just as the moon before new moon. Besides this, it appears 
so close to the sun as to be lost in his brightness, unless it should 
happen to pass across tlie sun"s disc, where it appears as a round 
black spot. This will be seen as at A in the figure where S in the 
centre represents the sun, and the earth is conceived to be in a line 
with the sun and Venus on the dark side of the latter. As the 
planet now travels onwards towards B it gets further and further 
removed to the West of the sun, and thus rises earlier and earlier, 
being then known as Lucifer or the morning star. At the same time 
its bright hemisphere becomes partly turned toward the earth. 
When exactly half enlightened, as at B, it is at its greatest elonga- 
tion from the sun, being distant about 48°. Its period of greatest bril- 
liancy is, however, a little before this when about one-third of its disc 
is illuminated. Having attained its greatest elongation, it seems sta- 
tionary for a short time and then appeai-s to return toward the sun, 
an increasing portion of the disc being illuminated, though, on ac- 
count of its increasing distance, it appears smaller. It is then lost 
again in the sun's rays for a time, and when it reappears to the East 
of the sun, it does not rise till after that luminary, and, therefore, is 
no longer the morning star. x\t this time, liowever, it remains visi- 
ble for some time after sunset, and is known as Hesperus, or the 
evening star. After attaining its greatest eastern elongation at D it 
returns to A to go through the same piiases again. While travelling 
about half the distance between D and A, or that half next to D, it 
appears stationary, in the other half, or that nearest to A, it appears 
to retrograde ; and so while travelling half the distance from A to B, 
or that half nearest A, it appears still to retrogade, while in the 
other half, or that nearest to B, it appears stationary. These phases 


are not visible to the naked eye, and hence the absence of them was 
adduced as an argument against the truth of the Copernican system. 
This was before the invention of the telescope. Galileo, however, 
in 1610, on turning his newly-constructed telescope to the planet, at 
once discovered the fact of their existence. This is one of the 
strongest arguments adduced in proof of the system which has the 
sun as the centre of the planets' motions. The period which elapses 
between one inferior conjunction and another, or that is occupied in 
going through this cycle of changes is 584 days, and this is called its 
synodic period. The time, however, that is occupied in completing 
a circuit round the sun is only 224 da3^s and 17 hours. At first sight 
these results appear inconsistent, but the apparent discrepancy 
vanishes when we recollect that the earth is itself in rapid motion, 
so that by the time Venus has completed a revolution round the sun, 
the earth has travelled round a large portion of its orbit, and Venus 
has to overtake it before another conjunction can take place. 

The distance of Venus from the Sun is about 66,130,000 miles; 
and its orbit is nearly circular, its eccentricity being less than half a 
million of miles, or about the l-276th part of its diameter, so that its 
distance varies but slightly. When viewed through a good telescope 
this planet is a very beautiful object, especially when near its inferior 
conjunction, so as to appear in the form of a crescent; but tlie bril- 
liancy with which it shines is so great that no distinct markings can 
be made out on its surface. The inner edge is, however, considerably 
indented, indicating the presence of inequalities on its surface; from 
this some observers have calculated that the height of its mountains 
is much greater than that of any on the earth. The height of such 
elevations is ascertained from the length of their shadows. M. Schroter, 
a celebrated German astronomer, estimated the perpendicular height 
of one of these mountains to be ten and a half English miles, and 
that of another no less than nineteen miles. Although these eleva- 
tions so far surpass the highest mountains on our globe, yet, on this 
account, such estimates should not be considered as improbable. 
For, in nature, there is an endless variety, and our observations on 
the moon and nearest planets show us that every planet differs from 
another in the peculiar features of its surface. Such lofty elevations 
must add to the sublimity of nature on the surface of Venus, and will 
afford, from their summits, prospects far more extensive than we can 
now conceive. M. Schroter also deduced from several observations 
that Venus has an atmosphere of considerable extent, the densest 
part of which is above three miles high. A similar conclusion was 
deduced l)y a number of observers in different places, when viewing 
the transit of this planet in 1761. At the time when the planet 

VENUS. 327 

entered on the sun's disc, and when it was about to emerge from the 
eastern limb, a faint penumbra, or dusky shade, was seen surrounding 
the planet, which indicated an atmosphere of considerable height. 
The period of the rotation of this planet on its axis is not very dif- 
ferent from that of the earth, being twenty-three hours twenty-one 
and a-half minutes ; its day is, therefore, but thirty-five minutes 
shorter than ours. Its axis has an inclination of 73^°. Its diameter 
also closely approaches in dimension that of the earth, being 7,510 
miles ; so that the planet which is nearest to us is found in many 
important respects to resemble the earth very closely ; and analogy 
leads us to infer that in many other respects it may be a counterpart. 
Its circumference, or a line extending quite round it, measures 23,593 
miles, and the number of square miles on its surface is 177,183,430. 
Several observers assert that they have seen a satellite accompanying 
Venus. Observations of some able astronomers, who have given 
some attention to it, have as yet failed to corroborate these state- 
ments. The testimony of Mr. Montaigne, however, who observed it 
on several successive occasions, we consider to be conclusive evidence 
as to its existence.* But it is evident this satellite would be difiScult 

* Numbers 3, 4, 7, 11, in figure 107, mark 
the situatious of the satellite, as seen by Mr. 
Montaigne, on May 3rd, 4th, 7th and 11th, 
1760. On May 3rd, he perceived, at 20, dis- 
tance from Venus, a small cresent, with the 
horns pointing the same way as those of 
Veil us. Its diameter was one-fourth tliat of 
its primary ; and a line drawn from Venus 
to the Satellite, made below Venus, an angle 
with the verticle of about 20' toward the 
south, as seen in the figure, where Z N repre- 
sents the vertical, and E C a parallel to the 
ecliptic, making then an angle with the ver- 
tical oi 45^. On May 4th, at the same hour, 
he saw the same star, distant from Venus 
about one minute more than before, and 

making an angle with the vertical of 10= below, but on the north side, so that the satellite 
appeared to have described an arc of about 30=, whereof Venus was the centre, and the 
radius 20°. The two following nights being hazy, Venus could not be seen. But on May 
7th, at the same hour as on the preceding days, he saw the statellite again but above Venus, 
and on the north side, as represented at 7, between 25' and 26' upon a line which made an 
angle of 45°, with the vertical toward the right hand. On May the 11th, at nine o'clock, p.m., 
the only night when the view of the planet was not obscured by moonlight, twilight or 
clouds, the satellite appeared nearly at the same distance from Venus as before, making- 
with the vertical an angle of 45° toward the south, and above its primary. The light of 
the satellite was always very weak; but it had always the same phase with its primary, 
whether viewed with it in the field of the telescope or alone by itself. He imagined that the 
reason why the satellite has been looked for so often without success might be, that one 
part of its globe was crusted over with spots, or otherwise unfit to refk'ct the rays of the 
sun with any degree of brilliancy, as is supposed to be the case with the fifth stitellite of 


to detect, its diameter being so small as onlj one-fourth that of its 
primary. It could not be seen at superior conjunction of the planet, 
for then it would be overpowered by the light of the sun ; nor would 
it be easily seen in any other part of the orbit, its enlightened part 
being so extremely small. The best time to see it would be at the 
time of the planet's greatest elongation, when it would appear about 
half enlightened. Observers should not despair of finding it, for the 
satellite exists, awaiting their discovery. 

The last transits of Venus happened in 1769, when the British Gov- 
ernment sent out an expedition for the purpose of making observa- 
tions ; and on December 9th, 1874, when not only the British, but the 
United States, and other governments, sent out expeditions to differ- 
ent parts of the earth for the same purpose. The next transit will take 
place in 1882; and none will occur after that till June 8th, 2004. 

This planet is doubtless well replenished with inhabitants, and 
may far surpass the world in which we dwell, not onh' in point of 
population, bat in sublimity of scenery. Its superficial area is nearly 
that of our globe ; and it does not appear as if a very large portion 
of it is covered with water; otherwise it would not shine with such 
uniform brilliancy ; the water not being as good a reflector as the 
solid, rough surface of the land. This beautiful planet, distinguished 
above all others by its great brilliancy, is occasionally alluded to by 
the writers of the Scriptures as " the son of the morning." " the day 
star," and " the bright and morning star," emblematic of the enlight- 
ening and cheering effect of truth and godliness upon the minds and 
hearts of sinful men when the " day star " from on high hath risen in 
their hearts. When contemjjlating the bright luminaries of the sky, 
and especially the morning star, the placid influence the}- diffuse and 
the harmony with which all their movements are conducted, we can 
scarcely refrain from contrasting those scenes with the darkness and 
disorder which prevail in the moral world. While the sun diffuses 
his light by day, and the moon and the stars shed their mild radiance 
by night, it is still necessary to the well-being and happiness of man- 
kind that intellectual light and sacred jo}" should be diffused in their 
minds and hearts, of which the light of these luminaries has often 
served as an emblem. When the morning star makes its appearance 
near the eastern horizon, it is a sign that the sun will ere long arise, 
and that the darkness of night will soon be dispelled. When the 
day star arises in the benighted mind, it intimates that now the light 
ol Divine truth has begun to irradiate it, and to dispel the darkness, 
with all its miserable accompaniments, which formerly reigned in it ; 
it is a sign that this light will still increase and shine more and more 
unto the perfect day. 

VENUS. 329 

Celestial Phenomena, as Viewed from Venus. 

To the inhabitants of this planet the firmament will present an 
aspect nearly similar to that of Mercury, with a few variations. 
Mercury is to Venus an inferior planet, which never appears beyond 
34° from the sun. Tt will appear in the evening after sunset for the 
space of two or three houis when near its elongation, and in the 
moniing before sunrise, when in the opposite part of its course ; and 
will be alternately a morning and an evening star to Venus, as that 
planet is to us, but with a less degree of splendor. The most splen- 
did object in the nocturnal sky of Venus is the earth, when in oppo- 
sition to the sun, when it ajDpears with a magnitude and splendor 
five or six times greater than either Jupiter or Venus appears to us 
at the time of their greatest brilliancy. Tt will serve, in a great 
measure, the purpose of a moon to Venus, if this planet have no sat- 
ellite ; and will cause the several objects on its surface to project 
distinct and well defined shadows, as our moon does when she appears 
a crescent. Our moon, in her revolutions round the earth, appears 
also a prominent object in the heavens of Venus, and probably ap- 
pears about the same size that Jupiter does to us. Her occultations, 
eclipses, and transits across the earth's disc will be distinctly visible. 
With telescopes such as the best we possess, the earth would appear 
from Venus a much larger and more variegated object than any of 
the planets do to us when viewed with high magnifying powers. The 
forms of our different continents, seas, and islands; the different 
strata of clouds in our atmosphere, with their several changes and 
motions, and the earth's diurnal rotation, would in all probability be 
distinctly perceived. Even the varieties which characterize the sur- 
face of our moon would be visible with telescoj^es of a high magni- 
fj'ing power. The circumstances now mentioned prove the connec- 
tions of the different parts of the planetary system with one another; 
and that the parts of it are so arranged that one world is, in a certain 
degree, subservient to the benefit of another. Thus the earth serves 
as a large and splendid moon to the lunar inhabitants ; it serves in a 
certain degree, the purpose of a small moon to Mercury ; it serves 
the purpose of a larger moon, by exhibiting a surface and a radiance 
four times greater, to the inhabitants of Venus ; and it serves as a 
morning and an evening star to the planet Mars; so that while we 
experience enjoyment in contemplating the moon walking in bright- 
ness, and hail with pleasure the morning star as the harbinger of day, 
and feel a delight in surveying those nocturnal luminaries through 
our telescopes, the globe on which we dwell affords similar enjoy- 
ments to the intellectual beings in neighboring worlds, who behold 


our habitation from afar as a bright speck upon their firmament, 
diffusing amid the shades of night a mild and placid radiance. From 
Venus the planets Jupiter and Saturn will appear nearly as they do 
to us ; but the planet Mars will appear considerably smaller. The 
sun to this planet will appear twice as large as he does in our sky, 
and will appear to make a revolution round the celestial sphere in 
the course of seven and a half mouths, which completes the year of 

The Earth. 

The next planet in order is the Earth, which Ave have hitherto 
considered as the base from which we made all our observations. It 
may still seem strange to some of our readers that this world on 
which we live should be considered a planetary orb ; as at first view 
it does not appear to bear any resemblance to any of the luminaries 
that appear in our sky. The planets, as they are seen in the 
heavens by the naked eye, appear as only comparatively small points 
of light, whereas the earth, from whatever point we view it, appears 
the largest body our ejes anywhere behold and when we traverse its 
surface either by sea or land there appear no boundaries to its dimen- 
sions. We have explained before that the nearer a body is to the 
eye the larger it apppeais, for the larger the angle is which its ex- 
tremities subtend in the eye ; and on the other hand the farther 
removed a body is, the smaller it appears, for the smaller the angle it 
subtends in our eye. This is the reason why the planets, some of 
which are much larger than the earth, appear but as visible points in 
our sky ; and why the moon, though sixty millions of times smaller 
than the sun, appears equal in bulk to that luminary. From the 
positions in which we can view any portion of the earth, even when 
we ascend several miles above its surface in balloons, it does not ex- 
hibit a luminous aspect, such as that which the celestial bodies pre- 
sent ; so- that at first view we might be inclined to suppose that no 
similarity exists between our sublunar}- world and the orbs of heaven. 
Besides, the celestial orbs are apparenth" in rapid motion from one 
region to another, while the earth appears to be at rest in the centre 
of their motions. There is not, perhaps, one out of a thousand of 
the earth's present inhabitants who has the least conception that be- 
side every other motion of which he is susceptible, he is carried 
along through the regions of space with the rapidity of thousands of 
miles ever}^ hour. Yet this is a iact which appears not merel}" pro- 
bable but certain, and can be demonstrated to the conviction of 
every one who is both willing and qualified to enter into such inves- 


Could we stand on the surface of the moon we should behold the 
earth like a great globe in the firmament, appearing with a surface 
about 13 times larger than the moon does to us, and presenting its 
different sides to our view. Sometimes America, and the Pacific 
Ocean ; and at other times, Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Atlantic 
Ocean ; sometimes appearing like a large crescent, or half moon, and 
at other times with a full enlightened hemisphere. Could we take 
our station on the surface of Venus we should behold the globe on 
which we live appearing in the azure sky like a large bright star ; 
and the moon, which appears so large in our firmament, would be 
seen only like a very small star very near the earth and constantly 
moving around it. The earth would in general appear about of the 
same size that Venus does to us, but perhaps not quite so brilliant, 
owing to three-fourths of its surface being covered with water; at 
certain times, however, it would appear ten times larger than Venus 
does to us and like a small brilliant moon. (On the other hand, if 
the bright side of Venus were turned toward us at the time of her 
inferior conjunction, that planet would appear about 25 times as 
large as it usually does.) Were our situation on the planet Mars, 
which is much farther from the sun than Venus, the earth would 
appear alternately as a morning and evening star, exhibiting different 
phases, as Venus does to us, but with a less degree of size and splen- 
dor. It might not, perhaps, shine with so much brilliancy as Venus, 
but it would probably appear of a lustre similar to that Avhich Mars 
presents to us, or somewhat brighter. It need not be wondered at 
that the earth would appear as a luminous body from such distant 
positions ; for we have demonstrative proof that Venus, Mars, and 
all the other planets, though they appear like shining orbs, are in 
reality dark bodies like the earth, and receive their light from the 
sun, the reflection of which from their surfaces makes them appear 
luminous to us ; and it is only when the portions of their sides which 
are enlightened by the sun are turned toward us, that we see them in 
the heavens. On some occasions the dark side of Venus is com- 
pletely turned toward the earth, and then she is invisible; and some- 
times in this position is seen to pass, as a dark spot, across the disc 
of the sun. These and many other circumstances demonstrate that 
the planets are in themselves dark bodies, and shine only by reflec- 
tion : and consequently that the earth, though a dark body, Avill 
appear luminous at a distance by reflecting the solar rays which fall 
upon it as the moon does to us. We have already proved that as a 
planet the earth turns round its axis ever}' 24 hours, and also moves 
round the sun every year; this latter part of our position we will 
endeavor in the sequel to illustrate by a figure. 


The earth's mean radius is 8,956i English miles ; its mean dia- 
meter being 7,913 miles; consequently its circumference, or a line 
extending quite round it, measures 24,859 miles; and the number of 
square miles on its surface is nearl}^ 196,709,267. Of this it is esti- 
mated that 149,000,000 square miles are occupied by the seas and 
oceans ; thus leaving 47,000,000 square miles of dry land, or less 
than one-third of that occupied by the water. The mean diameter 
of tlie earth's orbit is about 182,862,000 miles, and its approximate 
circumference about 574,709,000 miles. The linear eccentricity of the 
earth's orbit, being about one-sixtieth of its semi-axis major, or mean 
distance of the earth from the sun, we have 1,523,850 miles for the 
distance between the centre of the earth's orbit and the centre of 
the sun, or the focus of that orbit. Consequently the eai'th is about 
double this distance, or 3,047,700 miles nearer to the sun in winter 
than in summer. In the diagram the earth is represented in four 
different positions (momentary positions) in its orbit, namely, at raid- 
spring, mid-summer, mid-autumn, and mid-Avinter. In all these posi- 
tions, as well as all round in its orbit, the parallelism of its axis N.S. 
is preserved, that is, its axis is always directed to the same points of 
the heavens. Some find it difficult to understand how the earth's 
axis in all parts of an elliptical orbit can remain parallel to itself. 
They should remember that the diameter of the earth's orbit is as 
nothing in comparison with the distance of the fixed stars. If two 
parallel lines are drawn at the distance of three or four yards from 
one another they will point directly to the moon, when she is in the 
horizon. Three or four yards are accounted as nothing in comparison 
of 240,000 miles, the distance of the moon from us. And perhaps 
three or four yards bear a greater proportion to 240,000 miles, than 
182,862,000 miles, the diameter of the earth's orbit, bear to our dis- 
tance from the pole-star. The earth's axis is inclined to the plane of 
its orbit at an angle of 66° 32', hence it makes an angle of 23° 28' 
with the perpendicular to the plane of its orbit ; for the perpendicular, 
represented by the dotted line passing through the centre O, makes 
an angle of 90° with the plane of the orbit; and subtracting 66° 32' 
from 90° leaves the remainder 23° 28', which is the angle included 
between the axis, N. S., and the perpendicular or dotted line. The 
true cause of the variation of the seasons consists in the inclination 
of the axis of the earth to the plane of its orbit, or, in other words, to 
the ecliptic. If its axis were perpendicular to the ecliptic, the equator 
and the orbit would coincide; and as the sun is always in the plane 
of the ecliptic, it would in this case be always over the equator; the 
two poles would be always enlightened, and there would be no diver- 
sity in the length of days and nights, and but one season throughout 



the year. Because of the parallelism of the earth's axis it so hap- 
pens that at mid-spring, or March 20th, this axis is perpendicular to 
a line drawn to the centre of the sun, and the sun being now directly 
vertical to the equator there is equal day and night to all places on 
the earth, the poles being the boundaries of light and darkness; thus 



JUNE. 21. 


OECEMBEin 21. 



there are twelve hours of light and twelve hours of darkness to every 
spot on the earth's surface for this day. Hence this day is called the 
equinox (equal night) of spring, or the vernal equinox. At this time 
the earth is in the sign Libra, and the sun appears in the opposite 
sign Aries. As the earth travels onwards from March to June the 
northern hemisphere comes more into light ; and on the 21st of that 
month the sun is vertical to the tropic of Cancer. The earth is now 
in Capricornus and the sun appears in the opposite sign of Cancer. 
At this time the half of the globe is illuminated from the circum- 
ference of the north polar circle at the distance of 23^ 28' beyond the 
north pole N, to the circumference of the south polar circle, at the 
same distance from the south pole S. At this time there is no day 
within the south polar circle, but the night continues twenty-four 
hours; and there is no night within the north polar circle, the day 
continuing for the same length. As at this point the earth begins 
to return to a position similar to that of the vernal equinox, and the 
sun seems to be stationary for two or three days before and after this 
day, it is called the summer solstice (sun standing), or the tropic 
(turning) of summer. As the earth now travels on from June to 
September the sun shines less and less over the north pole, until on 
the 2Brd of that month we find him again vertical to the equatoi*. 
The days and nights are now again exactly equal all over the earth, 
or there are twelve hours of light, and twelve hours of darkness to 


every spot on the earth's surface for this day. At this time, as at 
March 20th, the earth's axis is perpendicular to a line drawn to the 
sun's centre. It is now called the equinox of autumn, or autumnal 
equinox ; the earth is in the sign Aries, the sun appearing in the 
opposite sign Libra. Since it is summer to every part of the earth 
where the sun is vertical (and we find it vertical to the equator twice 
in the year), we see the reason why those living near the equator 
have two harvests every year. Following the earth in its journey to 
December we find that when it has arrived in the sign Cancer, at the 
21st of that month, the sun appears in the opposite sign of Capricorn, 
and is now vertical to that part of the earth called the tropic of Cap- 
ricorn. The half of the globe is now illuminated from the circum- 
ference of the south polar circle at a distance of 23^^ 28' beyond the 
south pole, S, to the circumference of the north polar circle, at the 
same distance from the north pole, N. At this time there is no day 
Avithin the north polar circle, the night continuing twenty-four hours; 
and there is no night within the south polar circle, the day continu- 
ing twenty-four hours. 

In looking at the diagram, you see at the vernal equinox, or 
March 20th, the whole of the illuminated hemisphere of the globe, 
because from the I'epresentation of its position it is turned in front 
both to the sun at F, and to you the spectator. At the stimmer sol- 
stice, or Jtme 21st, you see only half the illuminated hemisphere of 
the globe, because it is turned in front to the sun at F, but sideways 
to you the spectator, j^ou being supposed outside of the orbit. At 
the autumnal equinox, or September 23d, you see none of the illu- 
minated hemisphere of the globe, because it is turned in front to the 
sun at F, but its back is to you the spectator, you being outside of 
the oi'bit, and as it were behind the globe. And at the winter solstice, 
or December 21st, you again see half of the illuminated hemisphere of 
the globe, because it is turned in front to the sun at F, but only side- 
ways to you the spectator, for the same reason as before. But were 
you placed in the middle of the orbit, at the point F, you would, by 
turning round and round to the different positions Ave have been de- 
scribing, see the whole of the illuminated hemisphere of the globe at 
each point of its course. In the course of this revolution the inhabi- 
tants of every clime experience, though at different times, a variety 
of seasons. Spring, summer, autumn, and winter follow each other 
in constant succession, diversifying the scenery of nature, and mark- 
ing the different seasons of the year. In those countries which lie 
in the southern hemisphere of the globe, November, December and 
January are the summer months : while in the northern hemisphere, 
Vi^here we reside, these are our months of winter. In the northern 


and southern hemispheres the seasons are opposite to each other, so 
that when it is spring in the one it is autumn in the other ; when it 
is winter in the one it is summer in the other. During six months, 
from March 20th to September 23d, the sun shines without intermis- 
sion on the north pole ; so that there is no night there during all that 
interval, while the south pole is all this time enveloped in darkness. 
During six months, from September 23d to March 20th, the sun 
shines without intermission on the south pole, so that there is no 
night there during all that* interval, while the north pole is, in its 
turn, deprived of the sun, and left in darkness. From 66 J" north or 
south latitude the inhabitants of these two opposite climes enjoy a 
length of day during their respective summers varying from 24 hours 
to six months. The nearer the pole the longer is the day. Our 
summer is nearly eight days longer than our winter. By summer 
with us is meant the time which passes between March 20th and 
September 23d, or between the vernal and autumnal equinoxes ; and 
by winter the time between September 23d and March 21st, or be- 
tween the autumnal and vernal equinoxes. That portion of the 
earth's orbit that lies north of the equinoctial contains 184'', while 
that portion which is south of the equinoctial contains 176° ; being 
8" less than the other portion ; which is the reason why the sun is 
nearly eight days longer on the north of the equator than on the 
south of it. In our summer the earth's motion is through the six 
southern signs, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricornus, Aquarius, 
Pisces, while the sun appears in the opposite or northern signs; 
and in the winter the earth moves through the six northern signs 
Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, while the sun appears in 
the opposite or southern signs. Li the former case, from March 21st 
to September 23d, the sun is about 186 days, 11 hours, in passing 
through the northern signs ; and in the latter case only 178 days 18 
hours, in passing through the southern signs, the difference being 
about 7 days, 17 hours. The reason of this difference is that the 
earth moves in an elliptical orbit, one portion of which is nearer the 
sun than another ; in consequence of which the earth's motion is 
faster while moving through the northern signs in winter, — it being 
over three millions of miles nearer to the sun then than in summer ; 
and the nearer the sun the planet approaches the quicker it moves ; 
— and slower while passing through the southern signs in summer ; 
which makes the sun appear to move slower through the northern 
signs. That the earth is nearer the sun in winter than in summer, 
is ascertained from the variation of the apparent diameter of the sun. 
About the first of January, when he is nearest the earth, the appa- 
rent diamerter is 32', 35" ; and on the first of July, when he is most 


distant, it is only 32' 31". This proves that the earth is farther dis- 
tant from the sun in one part of its orbit than in another. In Janu- 
ary the earth's motion every hour is at the rate of 69,600 miles ; but 
in July its rate of motion per hour is only about 66,400 miles ; a dif- 
ference of more than 3,000 miles an hour. 

The earth completes its revolution in its orbit in 365 days, 5 
hours, 48 minutes, and 49 seconds. This period is called a solar, or 
tropical year, and is reckoned from the time of the sun's passing the 
equinoctial point till it again reaches the same spot. The siderial 
year is reckoned from the time of the sun's passing any fixed star till 
its return to it again, and is 20' 21" longer than the solar ; the reason 
of the difference being the retrograde motion of the equinoctial point 
(called the precession of the equinoxes, which is fifty seconds of a de- 
gree every year), by which it travels as it were to meet the sun, so 
that he comes to it before he has quite completed his circuit. These 
two periods may be stated thus : solar year 365 daj^s, 5 hours, 48 
minutes, 49 seconds ; siderial year 365 days, 6 hours, 9 minutes, 10 
seconds. In early times the year was taken to consist of 365 days. 
As, however, the solar year is nearly 365i days, the day of the equi- 
nox soon became wrong ; to remedy which Julius Caisar introduced 
an additional day into February of ever}'- fourth year, thus making 
that year contain 366. This arrangement was known as the Julian 
style, and continued in use until nearly the end of the sixteenth cen- 
tury ; but as the year is a few minutes shorter than 365 ^ days, the 
equinoxes had by this time fallen back as much as 10 days. Pope 
Gregory XIII. corrected this error by ordering ten days to be left 
out of the year 1582 ; and then he modified the Julian style by the 
following rule : Every year divisible by 4 was to contain 366 days ; 
the even hundreds, however, unless divisible by 400, were to be con- 
sidered as ordinary years of 365 days ; thus 1800 and 1900 are ordi- 
nary years, while 2000 will be a leap-year. By this means the error 
is very nearly eliminated. This alteration, which is known as the 
Gregorian Calendar, was not adopted in England till 1752, and 
eleven days had then to be struck out of that year, to correct the 
error, which had increased one day in 170 years. 

In addition to this movement round the sun, by which the sea- 
sons are produced, the earth, as we have seen, has a rotation on its 
own axis, whereby are brought about the changes of day and night. 
The interval in which this diurnal rotation is completed, as ascer- 
tained by the passage of any star across the meridian on two succes- 
sive days, is called a siderial day. It is, in fact, the time occupied by 
the heavens in making one apparent revolution. In this we have an 
invariable measure ; it is, therefore, frequently adopted in. the observ- 


atories ; but for practical purposes of ever3^day life it would not 
answer well, as it is 3 minutes, 55". 91 seconds shorter than that 
determined by the sun ; and thus clocks regulated by it would gain 
that amount on the sun every day. The day, therefore, in ordinary 
use is that reckoned by the movements of the sun, and is known as 
the solar day, being the interval which elapses between two successive 
meridian passages of the sun. As, however, the distance of the earth 
from the sun varies in different parts of its orbit, and its diurnal 
rate of motion varies in like manner, this period is not uniform ; its 
mean length is, therefore, ascertained and taken as the natural or 
mean solar day. Our clocks are all regulated so as to indicate mean 
solar time, and hence they are sometimes faster than the sun, and 
sometimes slower. The greatest discrepancies are about February 
10th, when the clock is fifteen minutes faster than true solar time, as 
indicated by a sun-dial ; and October 27th, when it is sixteen min- 
utes slower. 

As the sun is further from us in summer than in winter, some nat- 
urally enquire why we experience the greatest heat in the former 
season. The following among other reasons may be assigned, which 
will partl}^ account for this effect 1. The sun rises to a much 
greater altitude above our horizon in summer than in winter, and con- 
sequently its ra3^s falling more directly upon the earth the thicker 
and denser will they be, and so much the hotter, when no counter- 
acting causes from local circumstances exist. 2. The greater length 
of the day in summer contributes to augment the heat ; for the earth 
and atmosphere are heated by the sun in the daytime more than 
they are cooled in the night ; and, on this account, the heat will go 
on increasing in the summer ; and for the same reason will decrease 
in winte)', when the nights are longer than the days. The main 
cause is that in summer, when the sun rises to a great altitude, his 
rays pass through a much smaller portion of the atmosphere, and are 
less weakened by it than when they come to the earth in an oblique 
direction, weakened by their passage through the dense vapors near 
the horizon, and by many refractions and reflections of the atmos- 

The cause of the changes of the seasons can be exhibited with 
more clearness and precision by means of machinery than by verbal 
explanation ; and, therefore, those whose conceptions are not clear 
and well-defined on this subject should have recourse to planeta- 
riums, which exhibit the celestial motions by wheel-work. There 
has been some time ago a small instrnment called a Tellurion, manu- 
factured by Messrs. Jones, Holborn, London, which conveys a pretty 
clear idea of the motions and phases of the moon, the inclination of 



the earth's axis to the plane of its orbit, and the changes of the sea- 
sons. This instrument was sold at moderate prices according to the 
quantity of wheel-work, and doubtless it is j-et obtainable. 

The subject of the seasons and the variety of the phenomena they 
exhibit, have frequently been the theme of the poet and the philoso- 
pher, who have expatiated on the beauty of the arrangement, and the 
benignant effects they produce ; and therefore they conclude that other 
planets experience the same vicissitudes and seasons similar to ours. 
This, howisver, by no means follows, for the cause of the changes of the 
seasons, as we have them, is owing to the degree of inclination which 
the earth's axis has to the plane of its orbit, and every planet discov- 
ered in our system has a different degree of inclination in that re- 
spect, and, therefore, the seasons of each will be different from ours, 
though they may be analogous. But though in the present consti- 
tution of our globe there are many benign agencies and effects, which 
accompany the revolutions of the seasons, and contribute to the 
wants and happiness of the earth's inhabitants, yet how few there 
are out of the great mass of mankind who properly appreciate them, 
and render to their Creator due praise for circumstances so good, and 
gifts so rare ! "Were the habitable parts of the earth generally Avell 
cultivated, its marshes drained, and its desolate parts reduced to 
order and vegetable beauty by the hand of art, and replenished with 
an industrious and enlightened population, there can be little doubt 
our seasons would be considerably meliorated, and many physical 
evils prevented with which we are now annoyed. And all this man 
has it in his power to accomplish 2:)rovided he chooses to direct his 
wealth, and his physical, intellectual, and moral energies into this 
channel. "We are highly favored, but we may to a considerable ex- 
tent improve our circumstances ; and God always assists every effort 
that is made in the right direction. 

The Moon. 

The earth, in its journey round the sun, is attended by a secondary 
planet, or satellite, the moon. This globe may almost be considered 
as a part of the earth, for in its revolution round the sun it is not the 
earth's centre that travels along the orbit, but the centre of gravity 
of the earth and moon taken together. As the moon is our nearest 
neighbor in space, and exerts a greater influence on the earth than 
any of the other heavenly bodies, with the exception of the sun, it 
has at all times attracted a large share of attention. Its great ap- 
parent size and the phases it presents increase the interest. To 
the eye the moon appears ver}^ nearly as large as the sun. This, 
however, results entirely from its great proximity to us ; it is in re- 
ality the smallest of the heavenly bodies which can be discerned by 

THE MOON. 339 

the naked eye. Although its apparent size is nearly equal to that of 
the sun, yet it would require more than sixty-three millions of globes 
of the size of the moon to form a globe equal in magnitude to the sun. 
The moon's distance from us is easily learned from its horizontal 
parallax, which is sufficiently great to be accurately measured. This 
varies in different parts of its orbit, but its mean value is about 57', 
and thus the moon's distance is found to be 238,833 miles. We may 
here observe that the parallax of the moon, or of any heavenly body, 
is the difference in the apparent position of that body as viewed from 
two different stations on the earth's surface, which are the length of 
the earth's semi-diameter, about 4000 miles apart.* 


* In order that the general reader may understand what is meant by the diameter or 
semi-diameter of the earth forming the base line of those triangles by which the distances, 
etc., of the heavenly bodies are measured, we thinli it necessary to give the followhig ex- 
planation : ' 

In any triangle, as A B 0, if tlie length of the side A B be known, and likewise the quantity 
of the angles at A and B, or the number of degrees and minutes they subtend, be ascertained, 
we can find the length of the sides A C and B C. If A B represent a horizontal plane 100 feet 
in extent, and C B a tower whose height we wisli to determine, and if with a quadrant we find 
the angle at A to C A B to be 44°, then by an easy process in trigonometry: Radius: is to the 
tangent of A, or 44=: : as the side A B 100 feet: is to the height of the tower C B ; which will 
give the answer, in this case 96i feet. 

It is on this general principle that the distances and magni- 
tudes of the celestial bodies are determined. But in all cases 
where we wish to ascertain the dimensions of the different 
parts of a triangle, the dimensions of at least one side must be 
given along with two angles ; otherwise the length of the dif- 
ferent sides of the triangle cannot be determined. Now, in 
measuring the distance of a heavenly body, such as the moon, 
the diameter or semi-diameter of the earth is the known side of ' -p-^ ..qo 

tlie triangle by which such a distance is to be determined. In "' 

the annexed figure let E C, represent the earth ; M the moon ; and A B a portion of the 
starry sky. If a spectator at the earth's surface at E, view the moon in the horizon, he 
will see it in the line M, among the stars at H. But if he view it from the centre of the 
earth at C, or from the surface at D, which will be the same in effect, he will see it in the 
line C D M, among the stars at S. The difference of position in which the moon is seen- as 
viewed from the surface of the earth E, and the centre C, is called the moon's horizontal 
paraUax, or tlie arc S H, which is subtended by the angle 
S M H, which is equal to the angle E JM C. In determining 
the distance of the moon, therefore, we must first find by 
observation the horizontal parallax, or in other words the 
angle E JI C: and the side E C, or the semi-diameter of 
the earth, being known to be about 4000 miles in extent, 
serves as the base line of the triangle EMC; and hence 
the other sides of the triangle E JI, and C M, or the dis- 
tance of the moon from the earth, can be found by an easy 

From what has been now stated it will appear that it is 
of great importance that we have correctly ascertained 
the figure and magnitude of the earth ; for if the length 
of the base line which we take in our trigonometrical cal- ^^S- 109- 

culations of the moon, or any other celestial body, be incorrectly stated, the whole calculation 
must be necessarily wrong, and the results false. In the foregoing explanation we have merely 
given the principle on which astronomers proceed in measuring the distances of the heavenly 
bodies, without euteiiug into details. 


This will be understood by reference to the subjoined figure and 
explanation at the bottom of the page. Knowing the moon's distance, 
and also the angle which its disc subtends to an observer, we easily 
ascertain its mean diameter to be 2,153 miles ; its circumference 6,764 
miles ; and consequently its area 14,562,892 square miles. This body 
revolves in its orbit round the earth, and completes its circuit, reck- 
oning from the time of its passing anj- star till its return to the same 
star, in 27 days, 7 hours, and 43 minutes, 11-5 seconds, which period 
is known as a siderial revolution. The more usual plan, however, 
of reckoning its period is by reckoning from the time of one full 
moon to the next. This period is the greater, the reason of the 
difference being that the moon is full when it is in the part of the 
heavens diametrically opposite to the sun. Now, if the earth were 
stationary, this would always happen in the same part of the sky ; 
but as the earth is moving in its orbit round the sun, carrying the 
moon with it. — by the time, therefore, that the moon has completed 
its circuit, the earth has travelled round nearly one-thirteenth of its 
orbit, and the moon must overtake the earth by travelling so much 
farther, before it again comes opposite to the sun. This may be 
illustrated by the revolutions of the hour and minute hands of a 
watch or clock. Suppose the hour-hand to represent the sun, and a 
complete revolution of it to represent a year ; suppose the minute- 
hand to represent the moon, and its circuit round the dial plate a 
month, it is evident that the moon or minute-hand must go more 
than round the circle where it was last conjoined with the sun or 
hour-hand, before it can again overtake him. If, for example, they 
are in conjunction at 12 o'clock, the minute-hand or moon must make 
a complete revolution, and above one-twelfth, before they can meet 
again at a little past 1 ; for the hour-hand, being in motion, can never 
be overtaken by the minute-hand at that point from which they 
started at their last conjunction. This surplus of motion occupies 
the moon 2 days, 5 hours, minutes, 5* seconds, which, added to 
the siderial, makes the synodical revolution, or the period between 
one new or full moon and another. The average length of this period 
is 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes, and 3 seconds. This interval is, 
therefore, termed a lunar month, and during it the moon passes in 
succession through all its phases. The sun always enlightens one-half 
of the moon, and sometimes the whole of this enlightened side is 
turned toward the earth, u^hen she appears a round luminous orb ; 
but this happens only at one point of her orbit, namely, at full moon. 
At all other parts of her course only a portion of her enlightened side 
is turned toward the earth ; and in one particular part of her orbit, 
just before new moon, her enlightened side is altogether invisible. 



At this part of her course she is invisible, both because she is in the 
same part of the heavens as the sun, and because the whole of her dark 
hemisphere is then turned toward the earth. After this it is generally 
two days or more before any of her enlightened surface is visible. 
About the tliird day after the change^ that is, new moon, she is seen 
in the western sky at no great distance from the point at which the 
sun set, and then appears in the form of a slender crescent, having 
the horns pointed towards the east. The figure annexed will render 
this more clear. Here the sun must be considered as situated con- 

Fig. 110. 
siderably to the right of the figure ; consequently the illuminated 
part of the moon will always face that way. E represents the earth, 
and the moon is represented in eight different points of its orbit, the 
outer row of discs showing the appearance the moon presents to us 
when in each of these positions. When at A, her enlightened hemi- 
sphere being wholly turned toward the sun, the dark hemisphere is 
wholly turned toward the earth, and the moon is consequently wholly 
invisible. As it travels onwards in its orbit towards B, a small por- 
tion of its illuminated hemisphere comes into view, presenting the 
appearance of a slender crescent, having its horns pointed eastward, 
the sun being now to the west of her. At this time the greatest part 
of the moon may sometimes be faintly discerned by the naked eye. 
This is caused by the light which is reflected from the earth on the 
moon, or Earth-shine^ as it is termed. A little consideration of the 
relative positions of the three bodies will show that at the time when 
tlie moon is new to us, the earth must appear full to the inhabitants 
of the luoon ; and it apjiears of a size thirteen times as large as the 
full moon does to us ; for the hemisphere of our globe is thirteen 
times larger than that of the moon, and thus at this period the most 
powerful light will be reflected from the earth upon the moon. When 


the moon has arrived at B, she presents exactly one-half her illumi- 
nated hemisphere to the earth, and this is called her first quarter. 
Still continuing her course, she at length arrives at C, where the 
sun and the earth are on the same side of her, and accordingly the 
illuminated hemisphere is turned towards the earth, presenting the 
entire disc of the full moon. When now, the moon being at C, it is 
full moon to us, the dark side of the earth is wholly turned toward 
the moon, and the earth is consequently invisible to the inhabitants 
of the moon. When the moon is in the increase to us, the earth is 
decreasing in its illuminated surface to the moon ; and conversely, 
when the moon is in its decrease to us, the earth is in its increase to 
the lunar inhabitants ; so that the phases of the earth, as seen from 
the moon, are exactly opposite to the phases of the moon as seen 
from the earth. After passing C, the moon goes through the same 
series of changes, but in a reverse order ; thus she presents, as first 
shown, a gibbous phase ; at D, half her enlightened hemisphere is 
turned toward us, and it is called her last quarter ; she then presents 
a slender crescent, having its horns pointed toward the west, the sun 
being now rather to the eastward of her; and she finally ariives at 
A, to go through the same series of changes again. 

There is one remarkable circumstance in connection with the 
moon, which we shall see by and by is not peculiar to her alone 
among the secondary planets ; and that is, that the moon always 
presents the same side to the earth, so that we never see her opposite, 
hemisphere. This proves that she turns round her circumference 
just once during her complete revolution round the earth. A great 
deal of fruitless controversy has frequently arisen upon the question 
as to whether the moon has an actual rotation or not. The fact 
that she always presents the one side to the earth is admitted by all. 
The only question is as to whether or not this motion can be called 
a rotation. A very little consideration will, however, make it clear 
that the moon does rotate ; * for if the moon had no rotator}" motion 
round her axis, we should see both her hemispheres in the course of 
every revolution she makes round the earth. This, we are aware, does 
not at first view appear obvious to those who have never directed their 
attention to the subject. Any one, however, may convince himself 
of this fact by standing in the centre of a circle, and causing another 
person to carry round a terrestrial globe without. turning it on its 

* Still it is renarded ns a very strange oircuiiistaiipe that the moon's axis is invariably turned 
towards the earth and that the figures on its face always maintain the same position towards 
the observer on the earth ; although if there were a real rotation it is thought the position of 
these figures should be inverted in the period between new and full moon or during lialf the 
rotation. It will be observed that although the common or Newtonian Theory of Astronomy 
accounts well for the phenomena, it is open to many objections. 

THE MOON. 343 

axis, when he will see every part of the surface of the globe in suc- 
cession ; and in order that one hemisphere only sliould be presented 
to his view, he will find that the globe will require to be gradually 
turned round its axis, so as to make a complete rotation in the time 
it is carried round the circle. The earth may iu tliis case be con- 
sidered a fixed station for observation, inasmuch as it turns round 
its circumference twenty-nine times during one rotation of the 
moon ; and, therefore, the moon (its one hemisphere) is constantly 
seen by the inhabitants of the earth. Owing to the fact that the 
moon's axis is inclined 1° 31' to the plane of its orljit (the orbit it- 
self being inclined to the ecliptic 5° 9'), Ave occasionally see a little 
beyond its north pole, and then a similar distance beyond its south 
pole. Also we sometimes observe the spots on her eastern margin 
which were formerly visiVjle on the western margin again withdsaw 
themselves behind the limb, Avhile the spots which became concealed 
behind the eastern margin again appear. These phenomena of the 
change of spots on the east and west limbs of the moon, as well as 
toward the north and south poles, sometimes occur for the space of 
about 3' on the moon's disc, or about the eleA^enth part of her 
diameter. This is termed the libration of the moon; the one, north 
and south, her libration in latitude ; the other, her libration in lon- 

The moon's orbit is, as we have stated, inclined to the ecliptic at 
an angle of 5° 9' ; so that in one part of her course that luminary is 
above, and iu another below the level of the earth's orbit. It is 
owing to this circumstance that our satellite is not eclipsed at every 
full moon, and the sun at every new moon, which would regularly 
occur did the moon move in an orbit exactly coincident with the 
plane of the ecliptic. The moon's orbit, of course, crosses the orbit 
of the earth in two opposite points called her nodes ; and it is only 
when the new or fvdl moon happens at or near these nodes that an 
eclii^se of tlie sun or moon can take place ; for it is only when she is 
in such a position that the sun, the moon, and the earth, are nearly 
in a straight line, and that the shadow of the one can fall upon the 
other. Tlie shadow of the moon falling upon any part of the earth 
causes an eclipse of the sun ; and the shadow of tlie earth falling 
upon the moon causes an eclipse of the moon. An eclipse of the 
moon can only take, place at full moon, when the earth is between 
the sun and the moon; and an ecli})se of the sun can only occur at 
new moon, when tlie moon comes between the sun and the earth. 
Lunar eclij^ses are visible at all places of the earth whicli have the 
moon above their horizon, and are everywhere of the same niagnitudo 
and duration ; but a solar eclipse is never seen throughout the whole 


hemisphere of the earth Avhere the sun is visible ; as the moon s disc 
is too small to hide the whole or any part of the sun from the whole 
disc or hemisphere of the earth. Nor does an eclipse of the sun ap- 
pear the same in all parts of the earth where it is visible, but Avhen 
at one place it is total at another it is only partial. 

The moon's orbit, like those of the planets, is an ellipse whose 
eccentricity is 12,960 miles, or the l-37th part of its major axis. 
The moon is therefore at different distances from the earth in differ- 
ent parts of her orbit. When at her greatest distance from the earth 
she is said to be in her apogee ; when at her least distance in her 
perigee. The nearer the moon is to the periods of full or change, 
the greater is her velocity ; and the nearer to the quadratures or the 
periods of half-moon, the slower slie moves. When the earth is in 
hevt perihelion, or nearest the sun, the moon's periodical time is the 
greatest. The earth is at its perihelion in winter, and consequently 
at this time the moon will describe the largest circles about the 
earth, and her periodical time will be the longest ; but when the 
earth is in its aphelion, or farthest from the sun, which happens in 
summer, she Avill describe a smaller circle, and her periodical time 
will be the least ; all which circumstances are found to agree with 
observation. These and man}" other circumstances which our space 
does not allow us to particularize, arise from the attractive influence 
of the sun upon the moon in different circumstances and in different 
parts of its course, so as to produce different degrees of accelerated 
and retarded motion. 

The peculiarities of the moon's motions have much and frequent- 
ly puzzled astronomers and mathematicians, and thej" render the cal- 
culation of her true place in the heavens a considerably difficult 
task. No less than thirty equations require to be applied to the 
mean longitude in order to obtain the true, and about twenty-four 
equations for the obtainment of her latitude and parallax. These 
problems have, however, been solved, and the moon's motions are 
now fully understood. 

The moon's principal motion is, as has been explained, one of rev- 
olution round the earth ; but the earth is at the same time pursu- 
ing her journey round the sun ; and thus tlie combination of these 
two motions causes it to describe a path, which is in reality a suc- 
cession of curves. If a pencil were attached to one of the spokes of 
a wheel, and made to trace a line on a piece of paper, as the wheel 
travelled onwards we should obtain a rough but somewhat true re- 
presentation of this path. In her motion round the earth every 
month the moon pursues her course at the rate of 2,300 miles an 
hour, but she moves at the same time with the earth in her course 

THE MOON. 345 

round the sun, so that her real motion in space is much more rapid 
than what has now been stated — perhaps not less than 70,000 miles 
an hour — for while she accompanies the earth in her annual motion, 
which is at an average rate of ()8,000 miles an liour, she also moves 
thirteen times round the earth in the same period, which is equal to 
a course of nearly twenty millions of miles 

Fig. 111. 

By means of a good telescope a considerably distinct view may 
be obtained of the moon. A power of 1,000 brings us, as it were, 
within 239 miles of its surface, and on very favorable occasions a 
power even higher than this has been applied ; but though a power 
of 2000 times could be used with distinctness it would make the 
moon appear no nearer to us than 120 miles, at which distance a 
living being, though a hundred feet high, could not be seen ; for 
with such a power a space on the moon's surface of 183 feet in di- 
ameter could., only be perceived as the smallest visible point. This 
perhaps is the reason why no trace of lunar inhabitants has as yet 
been discovered. Beside, we ought to consider that when we view 
objects on the moon's surface, we do not view them in perspective, 
as we do objects on the surface of the earth, but only obtain a bird's- 
eye view of them, as we do of objects on the earth's surface, Avhich 
we view from a balloon elevated in the atmosphere ; in which case, 
when we look down upon groups of human beings we see only the 
tops of their heads and their shoulders. 

Dr. Olbers, a celebrated German astronomer, was full}-- of opin- 
ion from observations he had made '• that the moon is inhabited by 
rational creatures, and that its surface is more or less covered with 
a vegetation not very dissimilar to that of our earth." Even to the 
naked eye the moon presents the appearance of an uneven and rug- 
ged surface ; and telescopic observations confirm this impression. 
On many parts of its surface liigh mountains are seen to exist, and 


the altitudes of many of these have been approximately measured by 
observing the shadows cast by them Avhen the sun shines obliquel}^ 
One peak, named Newton, is found to have an elevation of nearly 
24,000 feet, and several others are very lofty. The elevated sum- 
mits of these lunar mountains catch and reflect the rays of the sun 
long before the plains around them, and shine out brilliantly against 
the dark ground. The most remarkable characteristic feature, how- 
ever, of the lunar surface, is the number of ring craters which exist 
on its surface. These resemble huge volcanic craters. In some 
a spacious plain somewhat circular in shape is surrounded by a lofty 


Fis. 112. Fi?. 113. 

and rugged mountain-ridge, which almost or quite encloses it. Not 
unfrequently a solitary peak stands erect in the middle of this en- 
closed plain, attaining nearlj' the same height as the surrounding 
mountain-ridge ; in other cases the interior is so extensive that 
mountain chains run across it. The number of these cavities, es- 
pecially in the southern hemisphere of the moon, is very great ; and 
some of them are of such a size as to be aptly designated " walled- 
plains." Even with the most powerful telescope the more minute 
features of these mountain ranges are unable to be distinguished 
thus far ; the appearance of many of them, however, seems to indicate 
most strongly the violent action of volcanic forces ; and shows that 
in past time great convulsions of nature have taken place there. 

Fig. Ill is a telescopic view of the moon. Fig. 112 is a view of 
the brilliant spot called Aristarchus, Avhich is situated in the north- 
east quadrant of the moon's surface, where the shadows of some of 
the circular cavities, and also the shadows of the mountains may be 
perceived. Fig. 113 is the spot called Hevelius, which contains an 
annular cavity and a broken elevation, somewhat resembling an egg. 
Fig. 114 represents a cavity surrounded by a circular range of moun- 
tains, with two central mountains in the middle of the plain, in 
which the shadoAvs of one side of the circular range and of the cen- 
tral mountains may be seen. Fig. 115 shows another magnified por- 
tion of the moon's disc, exhibiting several circular plains, cavities, 
and other varieties of the lunar surface. 



The telescope also brings to view many level plains on the 
moon's surface, which were formerly thought to be lunar seas, and 
which still retain the names that were then given to them, though 
it now appears evident that they are merely dry plains. The 
Ocean of Storms, the Sea of Clouds, and the Bay of Rainbows are 
some of these spots. Some astronomers now express the opinion that 
no water exists on the side of the moon that is turned towards the 

Fig 114 Fig. 115. 

earth, however it may be as to its existence on the other hemisphere. 
Some indeed have supposed that its centre of gravity is nearer to the 
other side, and that hence all the air and water are accumulated • 
there ; but this is merely conjecture. 

The best time for making observations on the moon is at the time 
of the quadratures, as at the time of full moon the shadows of the 
mountains and peaks, which are hitherto conspicuous, disappear, the 
sun shining upon them vertically. Accurate maps have ere now been 
drawn of the moon's surface on a large scale, and the principal moun- 
tains have received names, usually names of celebrated astronomers. 

The following additional particulars respecting the moon may be 
stated. 1. The length of a lunar day is equal to nearly fifteen of 
our days, and the length of the night the same, so that a day and 
night in the moon equal twenty-nine and a half of our days and 
nights, or one lunar month. On the hemisphere facing the earth 
there is moonlight, earthshitie, nearly all the time the sun is absent ; 
but in the other hemisphere in the absence of the sun there is no 
light but what proceeds from the stars and planets. Were a lunarian 
to keep travelling at tlie rate of ten miles an hour, in a direction at 
right angles to the moon's axis, he might keep pace with the moon's 
rotation, and be enabled to live in perpetual sunshine. 2. The light 
of the moon has been computed to be 300,000 times less intense than 
that of the sun when shining in an unclouded sky ; yet its utility is 
considerable ; and when the full moon shines in its splendor it sheds 
a cheerful though mild radiance over the surrounding landscape. 


3. The moon is, according to the opinion of most astronomers, sur- 
rounded by an atmosphere, but it is a very limited one, and of great 
tenuity, and no clouds or vapors appear to exist in it. It is stated as 
having been distinctly perceived during the annular eclipse of 1836, 
when just before the edges of the two bodies met, the light of the 
sun was seen to shoot through the moon's atmosphere, mollified into 
twilight. Schroter calculated its height at 5742 feet. They also 
gave it as their opinion that the moon is replenished with inhabitants ; 
for although seas, and rivers, and a dense atmosphere are not found 
connected with the lunar orb, and some other of its peculiarities are 
different from those of the earth, yet these circumstances form no 
valid objection to its being inhabited with a race of sentient and in- 
telligent beings peculiar to itself, and adapted to their habitation. 
If telescopes of sufficient powers were in use to disclose to us the 
particulars as to the surface of the moon, there would, doubtless, be 
found water existing there, and a race of beings perhaps not very 
dissimilar to mankind, whose thoughts may sometimes be directed to 
the glorious orb of the earth in the way of adoration. 

Appearance of the Heavens as viewed from the Moon. 

Although the moon is the nearest body to the earth, and its con. 
stant companion, yet its celestial scenery is in a variety of aspects 
different from ours. The earth appears the most splendid orb in its 
nocturnal sky, and its various phases and relative positions form, 
doubtless, an interesting subject of enquiry and contemplation to its 
inhabitants. It appears in the lunar sky thirteen times larger than the 
moon does to us,, and sheds nearly a corresponding jjortion of light on 
the mountains and vales of the lunar surface. As the moon always 
presents nearly the same side to our view, so the earth is visible from 
only one-lialf of the lunar surface. The inhabitants of the oppo- 
site side of the moon, which is never turned toward the earth, Avill 
never see the earth in the sky unless they perform a journey to the 
opposite hemisphere ; and those who dwell near the central parts of 
that hemisphere, which is turned from our globe, will require to 
travel more than 1500 miles before they can behold the large globe 
of the earth in the sky. To all those to whom the earth is visible it 
appears fixed and immovable in the same relative point of the sky ; 
or, at least, does not appear to have any circular motion round the 
heavens. To a spectator situated in the middle of the moon's hemi- 
sphere visible from the earth, the earth appears directlj^ in the zenith, 
or overhead, and always appears fixed very nearl}^ in the same posi- 
tion. To a spectator placed in the extreme parts of that hemisphere, 

THE MOON. 349 

or what seem to us to be the margins of the moon, the earth appears 
always nearly in the horizon ; and to spectators in intermediate posi- 
tions the earth appears at a higher or lower elevation above the hori- 
zon, according to their distance from the extreme or central parts of 
that hemisj)here. But though the earth appears fixed nearly in the 
same part of the sky the slight variation of the moon, called the libra- 
tion, causes the earth now and then to appear to shift its position a 
little by a kind of vibratory motion, so that those at the margins of 
the hemisphere who see the earth in the horizon sometimes see it dip 
a little below, and at other times rise a little above their horizon. 
This vibratory motion they are probably disposed at first view to at- 
tribute to the earth, which they will naturally consider as a body 
nearly at rest, but subject to a slight vibratory motion ; whereas this 
apparent vibration proceeds from the actual vibration of the moon 

Although the earth seems fixed in nearly the same position, its 
rotation round its axis is distinctly percej)tible, and presents a variety 
of different aj^pearances. Europe, Asia, Africa, and America present 
themselves one after another in different shapes nearly as they are 
represented on our terrestrial globes ; and our polar regions, which 
we have never yet been able to explore, are distinctly seen by the 
lunarians, who will be enabled to determine whether they chiefly 
consist of land or water. When the Pacific ocean, which occupies 
nearly half the globe, is presented to view, the great body of the 
earth assumes a dusky or sombre aspect, except toward the north, 
north-east, and north-west ; and the islands dispersed through this 
ocean will exhibit the appearance of small lucid spots on a darkish 
ground. But when the eastern continent turns round to view, espe- 
cially its northern regions, the earth appears to shine with a greater 
degree of lustre. These appearances are diversified by the numerous 
strata of clouds, which are continually wafted by the winds over the 
different regions of the earth ; and must occasionally intercept their 
view of certain parts of the continents and seas, or render their 
appearance more obscure at one time than at another. 

The apparent diurnal motions of the sun, the planets, and the stars 
appear much slower and somewhat different in several respects from 
what they do to us. When the sun rises in their eastern horizon, 
his progress is so slow that it requires more than seven of our da^'s to 
come to the meridian, and the same time before he has descended 
to the western horizon ; for the days and nights on the moon, as 
before remarked, are nearly fifteen days each, and they are nearly of 
an equal length on all parts of its surface, as its axis is nearl}" per- 
pendicular to the ecliptic, and consequently the sun never removes to 


any great distance from the equator. During the day the earth appears 
like a faint cloudy orb, always in the same position ; and during the 
night the stars and planets are visible without interruption for fifteen 
days, and are seen moving gradually during that time from the east 
to the western horizon. Though the earth Avill always be seen in 
the same point of the sky both by day and night, yet it will appear 
to be constantly shifting its position with respect to the planets and 
the stars, which will appear to be regularly moving from the east to 
the west of it ; and some of them will occasionally be hidden or suf- 
fer an occultation for three or four hours behind its body. The sun, 
planets and fixed stars will appear of the same apparent magnitude 
as they do from the earth ; but as the poles of the moon are directed 
to points of the heavens different from those to which the poles of 
the earth are directed, the pole-stars in the lunar firmanent, and the 
stars which mark its equator and parallels, are all different from ours ; 
so that the stars in their apparent diurnal revolutions will appear to 
describe circles different from those which they appear to describe 
in our sky. The inferior planets, Mercury, and Venus, will generally 
be seen in the vicinit}' of the sun as they are seen from the earth ; 
but they will be more distinctlj" perceived, and are visible for a much 
longer time, after sunset, than they are from our globe. This is 
owing, first, to the transparency of the lunar atmosphere, and to the 
absence of dense vapor near the horizon, which in our case prevent 
any distinct observations of the heavenly bodies, when at a low alti- 
tude ; and, secondly, to the slow apparent diurnal revolution of 
Mercury and Venus. The superior planets, which we are about to 
consider, will, as with us, be seen in different parts of the heavens,- 
and occasionally in opjDosition to the sun ; but they appear to be 
continually shifting their positions in relation to the earth, and. in 
the course of fifteen days are seen in the very opposite quarter of 
the heavens, and in other fifteen days are again seen in conjunction 
Avith the eartli ; and nearly the same appearances are observed in 
reference to the inferior planets, but the periodic times of their con- 
junctions with the earth, and their oppositions to it, are somewhat 
different, owing to the difference of their velocities in their annual 

The eclipses of the sun which happen to the lunar people are more 
striking, and total darkness is of much longer continuance than Avith 
us. When a total eclipse of tlie moon happens to us there is a total 
eclipse of the sun to the lunarians. At that time the dark side of 
the earth is completely turned toAvard the moon, and the sun is seen 
to pass graduallj' behind the earth until it entirely disappears. The 
time of the continuance of total darkness in central eclipses is nearly 

THE MOON. 351 

two hours ; and, of course, a total eclipse of the sun must be a far 
more striking and impressive phenomenon to the inhabitants of the 
moon than to us. A complete darkness ensues immediately after the 
body of the sun is hidden, and the stars and planets appear as at 
midnight. When a partial eclipse of the moon happens to us, all 
that portion of the moon's surface, over which the earth's shadow 
passes, suffers a total eclipse of the sun during the time of its contin- 
uance. On the other pai'ts of the moon's surface there is a partial 
eclipse of the sun : and to those who are beyond the range of the 
earth's shadow no eclipse appears. When an eclipse of the sun happens 
to us the lunarians see a dark spot, with a penumbra or fainter shades 
around it, moving across the disc of the earth, which then appears a full 
enlightened hemisphere, excepting the part that is obscured by the pro- 
gress of the shadow. The inhabitants of the other hemisphere of the 
moon can never experience a solar eclipse, as the earth can never inter- 
pose between the sun and any part of that hemisphere ; so that they 
will only know of such phenomena by report, unless they perform a 
journed for the purpose of observing. The length of the lunar year 
is about the same as ours, but different as to the number of days, the 
lunar year having only 12. sew days, each day and night being as long as 
29^ of ours ; the length of their year, however, will be considerably 
difficult for the lunarians to determine. The study of the heavens 
in tlie moon is more difficult and complex than with us on the earth. 
The phenomena exhibited by the earth is doiibtless the most difficult 
for the lunar people to understand. They will be apt to imagine 
at first view, that the earth is a quiescent body in their linnan>t;nt, 
because it appears continually in tlie same point of the sky, and that 
the other heavenly orbs all revolve around it. On the other hand 
they enjoy some advantages in making celestial observations which 
we do not possess. Those living on the side next the earth, will be 
enabled to determine the longitude of places on the lunar surface 
with as great facility as we find the latitude of places on our globe. 
For as the earth keeps constantly over one meridian of tlie moon, or 
very nearly so, the east and west distances of places from that merid- 
ian may be readily found, by taking the altitude of the earth above 
their horizon, or its distance from the zenith, on the same principle 
as we obtain the latitude of a place by taking the altitude of the 
pole-star, or the height of the equator above the horizon, The lunar 
astronomers likewise possess a singular advantage over our terrestrial 
astronomers in the length of their nights, which gives them an oppor- 
tunity of contemplating the heavenly bodies, especially Mercury and 
Venus, and tracing their motions and aspects for a longtime without 
intermission. Such are some of the celestial phenomena as seen from 


the moon. However different these phenomena may appear from 
those which Ave are accustomed to behold in our terrestrial firmament 
they are all 0A-\-ing to the following circumstances ; that the moon 
moves round the earth as the more immediate centre of its motions ; 
that it always turns the same side to the earth. These slight 
differences in the motions and ]-elative positions of the earth and moon 
are the principal causes of all the peculiar aspects of the lunar firma- 
ment. But we shall see, as we proceed, that there is an indefinite 
variety of celestial scenery throughout the universe, so that no one 
Avorld, or system of worlds, presents the same scenery and phe- 
noiuena as another. 

The Planet Mars. 

We now pass on to notice the superior planets, that is, those 
whose orbits lie without that of the earth, concerning the nearer of 
Avhich our information is more complete than it is about the inferior 
planets, as the latter are usually too much hidden by the brightness 
of the sun's rays to be distinctly observed. But the superior planets, 
since their orbits are outside that of the earth, are at times in oppo- 
sition to the sun ; at this period, too, they are in perigee, that is, at 
their least distance from the earth, and are, therefore, in all respects 
most favorably situated for observation. The nearest of these bodies 
to us is Mars, a name Avhich was given by the ancients to this planet, 
and signifj'ing the " God of War," which appellation appears to have 
been given on account of its ruddy or fiery appearance, and because 
the astrologers believed it to be a promoter of war and bloodshed. 
The diameter of this planet is 4,920 miles ; its circumference 15,456 
miles; and consequently its superficial area about 76,043,520 square 
miles, so that it ranks as one of the smaller planets of our system, its 
bulk beino- about one-eiR-hth that of the earth. It revolves round the 
sun at a mean distance of 139,312,000 miles in au orbit of considerable 
eccentricity, the difference between its greatest and least distance 
being about 26,000,000 miles. When the planet is in opposition, 
both it and the earth are on the same side of the sun, and the dis- 
tance between them then is about 48,000,000 miles. At this time 
the planet shines with a brilliancy almost rivalling that of Jupiter or 
Venus ; this happens once in two years and fifty days, its synodic 
period being 780 days. When it happens to be in its perihelion at 
the same time, its brilliancy is still greater, and consequently this is 
the most favorable opportunity for telescopic observations upon it. 
It accomplishes its periodical revolution round the sun in 687 days, 
or about one year and ten months, which is at the rate of about 

MAES. 353 

54,000 miles an hour ; but as the Martian day is a little longer than 
ours, there will not be quite this number of days in his year. But, 
before it can return to the same relative position in regard to the 
earth and sun, or, in other words, from one opposition to another, it 
occupies a period of 780 days, that is, two years and fifty days, as 
above stated. 

Figs. 116, 117 and 118. 

When examined at this period with a powerful telescope, Mars is 

found to exhibit an appearance similar to that which the earth would 

probably present to the inhabitants of that planet. The surface is 

diversified with dark, portions which represent Avater, and lighter 

parts which are the continents. These mai-kings are found to vary a 



little at times, probably owing to the presence of large masses of clouds 
in the planet's atmosphere; the main features are, however, sufficiently 
prominent to enable maps to be constructed showing the configura- 
tion of its surface. The above figures give a general idea of tlie 
appearance of the 2:)lanet when seen through a large telescope. When 
its atmosphere is clear the land appears to be of a ruddy hue, while 
the water is somewhat greenish. Figure 116 represents the southern 
and northern hemispheres as drawn by jNIessrs. Beer and Madler, who 
devoted many years to the examination of Mars ; Figure 117 is taken 
from the observations of Secchi, the eminent Roman observer, at the 
opposition of 1858. The following are the results of Sir John Her- 
schel's observations on this planet, made with a powerful reflecting 
telescope. He states that on account of the clearness of its atmos- 
phere he has been enabled to observe with perfect distinctness the 
outlines of continents and oceans ; that the land on its surface is 
distinguished by a red hue, which imparts to the planet the ruddy 
appearance it has when viewed with ordinary telescojDes, and which 
its light exhibits to the naked eye. This redness he ascribes to a 
quality in the prevailing soil like that which our red-sandstone dis- 
tricts would exhibit to an observer contemplating the earth from the 
surface of ]\Iars. The seas of this planet, he observes, have a green- 
ish hue, altogether resembling the color of our own. These spots, 
however, are not always to be seen equally distinct, because of the 
varying transparency of the atmosphere; but when they are distinctly 
seen they always present the same appearance. Astronomers con- 
clude that this planet is surrounded with an atmosphere of consider- 
able extent, in which clouds at times exist ; that the darker spots 
are water or seas which reflect a much less proportion of the solar 
light than land, and probably cover about one-third of its surface; 
that a variety of seasons somewbat similar to ours are experienced 
on this planet, but of a much longer duration ; and that it bears a 
more striking resemblance to the world in which we dwell than any 
other planet in the solar system. It was owing to observations taken 
on this planet by Tycho Brahe having fallen into the hands of 
Kepler, that the three great laws of planetary motion, commonly 
termed " Kepler's laws," were discovered. These laws we shall 
have occasion to notice hereafter. The period of this planet's rota- 
tion round its axis has been ascertained to be 24 hours, 37 minutes, 
23 seconds. The inclination of its axis to the plane of its orbit is 
28° 51', or a little greater than that of the earth. This is a reason 
"why its seasons should resemble ours to a considerable extent. No 
moon has yet been discovered accompanying Mars. 

MARS. 355 

The Scenery of the Heavens^ as Viewed from Mars. 

From this planet the earth will at certain periods be distinctly- 
seen, but it presents a different aspect, both in its general appearance 
and its apparent motions, from what it does to the inhabitants of 
Mercury or Venus. To Mars the earth is an inferior planet, whose 
orbit is within the orbit of Mars. It will, therefore, be seen only as 
a morning and an evening star, as Venus appears to us ; but with a 
less degree of magnitude and brilliancy, since Mars is at a greater 
distance from the earth than the latter is from Venus. It will pre- 
sent to Mars successively the form of a crescent, a half-moon, and a 
gibbous phase, but will seldom or never be seen as a full enlightened 
hemisphere, on account of its proximity to the sun, when its enlight- 
ened surface is fully turned toward the planet; nor does it ever 
appear further removed from the sun, either in the mornings or even- 
ings, than 48°, which is the greatest elongation also of Venus as she 
appears to the earth, so that the earth never appears in the firmament 
of Mars about midnight. The earth will likewise be sometimes seen 
to pass across the sun's disc like a round black spot, as Mercury and 
Venus at certain periods appear to us ; but the planet Mercury will 
never be seen from Mars, on account of its smallness and nearness to 
the sun ; for at its greatest elongation it can appear onlj^ a few de- 
grees from the sun's margin, and is consequently immersed in his 
rays. The only time when it might happen to be detected is when 
it makes a transit across the sun's disc. Venus will be as seldom 
seen by the inhabitants of Mars as Mercury is by us. Our moon 
may likewise be seen from Mars as a small star accompanying the 
earth, but never at a greater distance from each other than fifteen 
minutes of a degree, or about half the apparent breadth of the moon ; 
and with telescopes such as we have, all its phases and eclipses may 
be distinctly perceived. The planets Jupiter and Saturn will appear 
to Mars nearly as tliey do to us. At the time of Jupiter's opposition 
to the sun that planet will appear a slight degree larger, as Mars is 
then 50,000,000 miles nearer it than we are ; but Saturn will not 
appear sensibly larger than to us ; and it is likely that the largest of 
the minor planets and the planet Uranus are not more distinguishable 
thaji they are from our globe. The point Aries on the ecliptic of 
Mars, one of the j)oints where its ecliptic and equator intersect each 
other, corresponds to 19° 28' of our sign Sagittarius. In consequence 
of this the poles of Mars are directed to points of the heavens con- 
siderably different from our polar points, and its equator passes 
through a different series of stars from that which marks our equator, 
which will cause the different stars and constellations, in their 


apparent diurnal revolutions, to present a different aspect from what 
they do in their apparent movements round our globe. The sun to 
Mars appears somewliat over half the size he does to us. 

The oMinor Planets or Asteroids. 

In the year 1778, Pi'ofessor Bode, of Berlin, published a very 
remarkable law, relating to the distances of the planets from the sun, 
Avhich, though it is said to have been discovered by Titus, is known 
as " Bode's Law." It was at first merely a bold conjecture, but has 
since attracted much attention, as it partly led to the discover}^ of 
the first of the minor planets or asteroids. Since, however, the dis- 
covery of the last planet, Neptune, it has again fallen to the level of 
a conjecture. He observes that if we take the numbers 3 6 12 24 
48 96, each of which, after the second, is double that which precedes 
it, and add the number 4 to each of them, we obtain the following 
list, which represents approximately the proportional distance of the 

4 7 10 16 28 

planets named under them: — ^lercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, , 

52 100 

Jupiter, Saturn. Thus, if we take 10 to represent the distance of the 
eai'th, we shall find that 4 represents that of Mercury, 7 that of 
Venus, and so on. No planet was, however, known to occupy the 
space intervening between Mars and Jupiter, corresponding to the 
number 28. There was thus a gap left in the system, and Bode 
stated his conviction that, as the sk}^ was more carefully Avatched, 
and better telescopes were employed, such a body would be discov- 
ered. Nor was his prediction long unfulfilled, for in the year 1800 
six astronomers agreed to establish an association, of twenty-four 
observers, who should divide the zodiac between them, each taking- 
fifteen degrees, and should search for the supposed-planet. This 
plan soon succeeded, for on January 1st, 1801, Piazzi, an Italian 
astronomer, discovered a moving body wdiich he at first supposed to 
be a comet, but which soon proved to be a planet afterward named 
Ceres, whose position corresponded A^ery nearly Avith that pointed out 
by Bode's law. When this fact became generally known, the search 
Avas discontinued, as the system appeared now to be complete. In 
the course of the following year, however. Dr. Olbers discoA^ered a 
second planet revolving almost in the same period, and at almost the 
same distance as Ceres. This planet was named Pallas, and its dis- 
covery excited great attention among astronomers, such a thing hav- 
ing hitherto been quite unsuspected, as that there should be two 
planets revolving at almost the same distance from the sun. After 
some time Olbers A^entured a conjecture that these tAvo planets might 


be the remains of a single one that had by some means become shat- 
tered, and suggested that in this case other fragments might probably 
be discovered. The search was accordingly renewed, and two planets, 
which they respectively called Juno and Vesta, were discovered in 
1804 and 1807. For many years no more were found ; accordingly 
it was believed that all had been discovered, and that these four, 
Ceres, Pallas, Juno and Vesta, were the four fragments of a large 
planet, which had once revolved in an orbit nearly resembling theirs. 

At the end of the year 1845, the discovery of a new asteroid was 
announced by Hencke, and again drew the attention of astronomers 
to the subject. Many more observers now undertook the task of 
trying to discover some more of those small bodies ; and since that 
time few years have passed without some fresh names of planets being 
added to the list, which at present contains more than 100, all of 
whose orbits are situated in the space between Mars and Jupiter. 
These generally do not present a well-defined disc in the telescope 
as the largest planets do, but appear like minute stars of about the 
twelfth magnitude, so that the only way of observing them is by 
accurately noting down all the stars visible in a given small portion 
of the heavens, and then carefully watching, on successive evenings, 
to ascertain if any of these appear to have changed their positions, or 
if any fresh points appear among them. Three only of these planets, 
it is said, have been seen by the naked eye, namely, Vesta, Ceres, 
and Pallas, and it is only under very favorable circumstances that 
they can be seen. Nothing definite is yet given us as to the dimen- 
sions of these small planets, those mentioned as seen by the naked 
eye being accounted the largest. Their distances from the sun vary 
considerably, Flora, the nearest of them, being estimated to have a 
mean distance of 200,000,000 miles, while the farthest is reckoned as 
distant above 313,000,000 miles. Their times of revolution are also 
found to be very different, the two planets just named taking respect- 
ively 3-266 and 6'413 years to complete their revolutions. 

Owing to their small size and great distances, very little is known 
as to the nature or character of these small planets ; traces of an 
atmosphere have, however, been discovered round some of them, that 
surrounding Pallas appearing to have great density. 

The theory of Gibers, as to these small planets being fragments 
of a large planet which had been shattered b}' the action of some 
internal force, was adopted by some ; while others held that they 
might have resulted from a planet having been shattered by a collision 
with a comet ; both of which theories to account for the existence of 
planets which are found to be so widely separated from each other, 
and to revolve round the sun in such widely different periods in 


their respective orbits, seem as unreasonable as tbey are groundless. 
The discovery of so many should, however, be sufficient to incite 
astronomers to continue their researches for many others which yet 
remain imdiscovered in our system. 

The Heavens, as seen from the Minor Planets. 

To some of these planets, revolving as they do at nearly the same 
mean distance from the sun, the appearance of the heavens will be 
very similar. The planet Jupiter will be the most conspicuous object 
in the firmament of them all, and will appear to most of them at least 
of three or four times the size and splendor he does to us, so as to 
exhibit the appearance of a small brilliant moon. Saturn will appear 
somewhat larger and brighter than to us, but the diffei*ence in his 
appearance will be inconsiderable ; nor will Uranus be more distinctly 
visible than from the earth. At otlier times, as when near their con- 
junction with the sun, these planets will appear smaller than to us. 
Mars will sometimes appear as a morning and an evening star, but 
he will always appear in the immediate neighborhood of the sun, and 
will present a surface much less in apparent size than he does to the 
earth. The earth Avill rarely be seen on account of its proximity to 
the sun; and Venus and Mercury will be altogether invisible in all 
of them unless they may happen to be seen when transiting the 
solar disc. It is likely that at certain times most or all of these 
planets Avill exhibit an uncommon, and occasionally a brilliant, ap- 
pearance in the firmament of each other. In their revolutions round 
the sun they may, in parts of their orbits, approach each other so as 
to be many times nearer each other in one part of their orbits than 
in another. These different positions in which they may be placed 
in relation to each other will doubtless produce a great variet}' in 
the appearances the}- present in their respective firmaments ; so that 
at one time they may present in the visible firmament a surface a 
hundred or even two hundred times greater than they do in other 
parts of their orbits. It is probable, therefore, that the diversified 
aspects of these planets in respect to each other will form the most 
striking phenomena which diversify their nocturnal heavens. In 
consequence of the great eccentricity of the orbit of some of them, 
as Pallas, the sun will appear much larger to them in one part of 
their course than it does in another. 

The Planet Jupiter. 

Beyond this group of small planets, which we have been consid- 
ering, lies the planet Jupiter, the largest known body connected with 


our system, the sun only excepted. The dimensions of the diameter 
of this planet are given variously, but, taking the smallest amount 
we find for his equatorial diameter, this is 85,390 miles, or more than 
ten times as great as that of the earth. Its circumference, therefore, 
is 268,261 miles, and its superficial area 22,906,806,790 square miles, 
about 117 times that of the earth. And as globes are to each other 
as the cubes of their diameters, and the cube of Jupiter's diameter 
is 622,617,094,819,000 miles; and the cube of the earth's diameter is 
495,476,997,497, dividing the former by the latter, the quotient is 
1257 nearly, which shows that Jupiter as a solid globe is nearly 
twelve hundred and fifty-seven times larger than the earth.* Con- 
ceive for yourself a superficial area, one hundred and seventeen times 
larger than that of our terraqueous globe ; and of twelve hundred and 
fifty -seven globes of the size of the earth having to be rolled into 
one in o